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Leadership 2.0:
Engaging and Supporting Leaders in
the Transition Towards a Networked
Organization
Alexander Richter, David Wagner
47th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Collaboration Systems and Technologies
Social Media and e-Business Transformation
January 9, 2014
Big Island, Hawaii
3
Motivation
•

One of the most important drivers for the performance of a
group is its leadership (Avolio et al., 2009; Northouse, 2009; Stogdill,
1950)

•

Leadership and technology have traditionally been
researched as e-leadership or virtual leadership (Avolio, 2000;
Kahai & Avoli, 2009; Zigurs, 2003)

•

Social software, such as wikis, blogs, and social network
sites, have become a focal area for many organizations as
well as leadership scholars (Kahai, 2012; Kane et al., 2009; Li, 2010;
McAfee, 2009, McGonagill & Doerffer, 2012)

•

However: “Most organizational leaders have yet to
understand what this new [social software] context is and
what it means for leadership” (Kahai, 2012, p. 63)

5
Research Question/Goal
How can leaders be
targeted before, during,
and after the
implementation of
enterprise social software?

6
Research Design
Semi-structured interviews
Interview guide with 23 questions,
basically structured into two parts /
main questions:
1. “What measures did you take
during the implementation
concerning the role of
leadership?”
2. “Which changes did you perceive
in the relationship between
employees and leaders?”
Participants: 24 (see Table 1)
Time: December 2012 until May 2013
Duration: ~50 min (Minimum: 28 min;
Maximum: 68 min)

7
Findings (Interventions)
Convince

• Gain attention and show benefits
• Address fears and prejudices
• Involve leaders

Sensitize

• Understanding the own (new) leadership role
• Realizing challenges of leadership 2.0
• Embracing cultural change

Coach

• Teach skills for leadership 2.0
• Developing a leadership 2.0 style
• Establishing a point of contact

8
Findings - Convince

Convince

• Gain attention and show benefits
• Address fears and prejudices
• Involve leaders

“And then leaders explained how they have used the [tool] in their project
organization, the benefits they have gained … we conducted this [knowledge
transfer] at the beginning. And it has interestingly developed culturally with
the effect that the employees do this themselves and independently now.”

9
Findings - Sensitize
Sensitize

• Understanding the own (new) leadership role
• Realizing challenges of leadership 2.0
• Embracing cultural change

“I think some write a blog post and then
send an email afterwards to say that they
have written a blog post. […] This is, I
believe, what many are not yet aware of.
Many still do not trust social media and
think: Okay, email is the panacea."

10
Findings - Coach
Coach

• Teach skills for leadership 2.0
• Developing a leadership 2.0 style
• Establishing a point of contact

„In principle, the problem is not that the leaders do not know how to write a blog
post, but why they should write it and what it should be about. And this is where I
would start the coaching.“
“Typically, I have such a community manager, a very communicative spirit that
motivates the employees, and then, of course, also gets the task of trying to reach
and motivate the executives […] So, it has to be very much a skillful communicator.”

11
Discussion & Outlook

Thank you!!!
Let‘s discuss

Promote open culture
•

Being role model – to get employees on
board (transformational Leadership)

•

Live authenticity & transparency (not:
uncontrolled openness)

•

Facilitator

Leader 2.0

Demand openness and participation
Provide guidance ("Complementary fit")

Führungskraft
Virtual
2.0
Leader

Primus
inter
Pares

Leading on distance
•

Building trust through electronic media

•

Digital relationship management

•

Intercultural competence

•

Digital communication

•

Dealing with IT

Ambivalent roles
•

Balancing act between network & hierarchy
("colleague" but also "boss")

•

Coach and mentor

•

Allow self-organization
12
References
Avolio, B.J. E-Leadership: Implications for Theory, Research, and Practice. Leadership Quarterly 11, 4 (2000),
615-668.
Avolio, B.J., Walumbwa, F.O., and Weber, T.J. Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions.
Annual Review of Psychology 60, 1 (2009), 421–449.
Kahai, S.S. Leading in a Digital Age: What’s Different, Issues Raised, and What We Know. In M.C. Bligh and R.E.
Riggio, eds., Exploring Distance in Leader-Follower Relationships: When Near is Far and Far is Near.
Routledge, 2012, 63-108.
Kahai, S.S. and Avolio, B.J. E-Leadership. In G.R. Hickman, ed., Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New
Era. Sage Publications, 2009, 239–244.
Kane, G.C., Fichman, R.G., Gallaugher, J., and Glaser, J. Community Relations 2.0. Harvard Business Review 87,
11 (2009), 45–50.
Li, C. Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead. Jossey Bass, 2010.
McAfee, A. Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. Harvard
Business School Press, 2009.
McGonagill, G. and Dörffer, T. Leadership and Web 2. 0: The Leadership Implications of the Evolving Web.
Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2012.
Mukherjee, A.S. Leading the networked organization. Leader to Leader, 52 (2009), 23–29.
Northouse, P.G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications, 2009.
Stogdill, R.M. Leadership, membership and organization. Psychological Bulletin 47, 1 (1950), 1–14.
Zigurs, I. Leadership in Virtual Teams: Oxymoron or Opportunity? Organizational Dynamics 31, 4 (2003), 339–
351.

13

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Leadership 2.0: Engaging and Supporting Leaders in the Transition Towards a Networked Organization

  • 1. Leadership 2.0: Engaging and Supporting Leaders in the Transition Towards a Networked Organization Alexander Richter, David Wagner 47th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences Collaboration Systems and Technologies Social Media and e-Business Transformation January 9, 2014 Big Island, Hawaii
  • 2. 3
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  • 4. Motivation • One of the most important drivers for the performance of a group is its leadership (Avolio et al., 2009; Northouse, 2009; Stogdill, 1950) • Leadership and technology have traditionally been researched as e-leadership or virtual leadership (Avolio, 2000; Kahai & Avoli, 2009; Zigurs, 2003) • Social software, such as wikis, blogs, and social network sites, have become a focal area for many organizations as well as leadership scholars (Kahai, 2012; Kane et al., 2009; Li, 2010; McAfee, 2009, McGonagill & Doerffer, 2012) • However: “Most organizational leaders have yet to understand what this new [social software] context is and what it means for leadership” (Kahai, 2012, p. 63) 5
  • 5. Research Question/Goal How can leaders be targeted before, during, and after the implementation of enterprise social software? 6
  • 6. Research Design Semi-structured interviews Interview guide with 23 questions, basically structured into two parts / main questions: 1. “What measures did you take during the implementation concerning the role of leadership?” 2. “Which changes did you perceive in the relationship between employees and leaders?” Participants: 24 (see Table 1) Time: December 2012 until May 2013 Duration: ~50 min (Minimum: 28 min; Maximum: 68 min) 7
  • 7. Findings (Interventions) Convince • Gain attention and show benefits • Address fears and prejudices • Involve leaders Sensitize • Understanding the own (new) leadership role • Realizing challenges of leadership 2.0 • Embracing cultural change Coach • Teach skills for leadership 2.0 • Developing a leadership 2.0 style • Establishing a point of contact 8
  • 8. Findings - Convince Convince • Gain attention and show benefits • Address fears and prejudices • Involve leaders “And then leaders explained how they have used the [tool] in their project organization, the benefits they have gained … we conducted this [knowledge transfer] at the beginning. And it has interestingly developed culturally with the effect that the employees do this themselves and independently now.” 9
  • 9. Findings - Sensitize Sensitize • Understanding the own (new) leadership role • Realizing challenges of leadership 2.0 • Embracing cultural change “I think some write a blog post and then send an email afterwards to say that they have written a blog post. […] This is, I believe, what many are not yet aware of. Many still do not trust social media and think: Okay, email is the panacea." 10
  • 10. Findings - Coach Coach • Teach skills for leadership 2.0 • Developing a leadership 2.0 style • Establishing a point of contact „In principle, the problem is not that the leaders do not know how to write a blog post, but why they should write it and what it should be about. And this is where I would start the coaching.“ “Typically, I have such a community manager, a very communicative spirit that motivates the employees, and then, of course, also gets the task of trying to reach and motivate the executives […] So, it has to be very much a skillful communicator.” 11
  • 11. Discussion & Outlook Thank you!!! Let‘s discuss Promote open culture • Being role model – to get employees on board (transformational Leadership) • Live authenticity & transparency (not: uncontrolled openness) • Facilitator Leader 2.0 Demand openness and participation Provide guidance ("Complementary fit") Führungskraft Virtual 2.0 Leader Primus inter Pares Leading on distance • Building trust through electronic media • Digital relationship management • Intercultural competence • Digital communication • Dealing with IT Ambivalent roles • Balancing act between network & hierarchy ("colleague" but also "boss") • Coach and mentor • Allow self-organization 12
  • 12. References Avolio, B.J. E-Leadership: Implications for Theory, Research, and Practice. Leadership Quarterly 11, 4 (2000), 615-668. Avolio, B.J., Walumbwa, F.O., and Weber, T.J. Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions. Annual Review of Psychology 60, 1 (2009), 421–449. Kahai, S.S. Leading in a Digital Age: What’s Different, Issues Raised, and What We Know. In M.C. Bligh and R.E. Riggio, eds., Exploring Distance in Leader-Follower Relationships: When Near is Far and Far is Near. Routledge, 2012, 63-108. Kahai, S.S. and Avolio, B.J. E-Leadership. In G.R. Hickman, ed., Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era. Sage Publications, 2009, 239–244. Kane, G.C., Fichman, R.G., Gallaugher, J., and Glaser, J. Community Relations 2.0. Harvard Business Review 87, 11 (2009), 45–50. Li, C. Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead. Jossey Bass, 2010. McAfee, A. Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. Harvard Business School Press, 2009. McGonagill, G. and Dörffer, T. Leadership and Web 2. 0: The Leadership Implications of the Evolving Web. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2012. Mukherjee, A.S. Leading the networked organization. Leader to Leader, 52 (2009), 23–29. Northouse, P.G. Leadership: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications, 2009. Stogdill, R.M. Leadership, membership and organization. Psychological Bulletin 47, 1 (1950), 1–14. Zigurs, I. Leadership in Virtual Teams: Oxymoron or Opportunity? Organizational Dynamics 31, 4 (2003), 339– 351. 13