Leadership in a Virtualized Business World: Making the Impossible Possible?

Achim Seisreiner, Jasmin John
2013 Social Science Research Network  
In a virtualized business world leadership relations are shifting noticeably towards "remote leadership" where leadership is conducted mainly through modern communication technology to cope with physical distance between leaders and employees. Against this background, many academic scholars are suggesting that transformational leadership is an appropriate leadership style to manage effectively in a remote context. Surprisingly, the trend in practice seems to go in the opposite direction. Based
more » ... n an empirical study of remote leaders in action, we diagnosed an increasing usage of the "transactional toolbox" -management by objectives, management by exceptions, performance measurement, controlling and planning systems. From an academic standpoint this bias reveals a completely unexpected development in leadership behaviour. Thus, in our article we try to shed light on this opposing trend. It seems to be that social influence can best be executed in a direct, almost intimate way. Consequently, taking the findings of the Social Impact Theory seriously, we should expect that leadership only works effectively if permanent interactions between leaders and followers take place, the actors address each other in a face-to-face communication, and mutual trust is based on * The empirical research reported in this article was designed and conducted by Jasmin John whilst writing her master's thesis in collaboration with
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2384393 fatcat:ns6d5ewdvnbhlb62kjuahzc4gm