Measuring and Exploring Factors of Shared Leadership in the Context of Indian IT Sector

Measuring and Exploring Factors of Shared Leadership in the Context of Indian IT Sector

Alka Agnihotri, Shikha Kapoor
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/JCIT.2019040102
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This research article explores the factors of shared leadership in IT sector in India. A reliable and a valid scale for the measurement of shared leadership (Scale for Measuring Shared Leadership, SMSL) is therefore developed as the previous researches brought to light the requirement of such scales which relate to the Indian IT sector. An attempt is made to reduce large number of variables, studied in relation to the shared leadership from various books and research journals, to a few workable factors and analyse how the factors derived explain the latent construct of shared leadership in the context of IT sector in India. The article also explores the factors of shared leadership using the factorial analysis of the data collected from teams working in the IT sector in India. It is a team level study of shared leadership in IT sector with a focus on obtaining the factors by using the factor analysis method on IBM SPSS. The various variables by which researchers have tried to explain the construct of shared leadership were collected from secondary sources which were then used to develop a questionnaire. The questionnaire was pilot tested and its reliability and validity was evaluated thereafter. Data collected was put to factor analysis through SPSS software to obtain the factors explaining the shared leadership construct in the context of the Indian IT sector. Numerous variables were reduced to few factors. With their help, these factors of the shared leadership in IT sector could be explained as a construct. The findings of this article also include explanation of the variations in the construct of shared leadership in IT sector and which factors contribute in what order to these variations.
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Shared leadership is understood as a concept which involves completing of tasks together by teams. Under this the team members not only interact frequently but also provide emotional support to each other. Through this process the team members help each other to develop their skills (Shane Woods, 2005). Shared leadership is seen as a team level phenomenon (Blings, Pearce and Kohles) or team property (Carson 2007), enacted by multiple individuals (Blings, Pearce and Kohles). In this leadership style single leader is not the focus rather all the team members have their share in leadership process (Carson 2007). Research suggests that as the knowledge content of work will increase, shared leadership will become more relevant. As Greenberg -Walt and Robertson (2001), put it ' Knowledge work facilitates shared leadership and shared leadership facilitates knowledge work.' Since the tasks are becoming more specialized and technical, sharing responsibility and decision making is a logical repercussion. The multi-disciplinary team have become very relevant in the present times and especially in the IT sector due to increase in the frequency of changes and complexities related to job and technology. Here the complex problem-solving process require various experts to deal with different facets of the job. For example, software development in IT companies like Infosys, H.C.L., Wipro, Ericsson, etc., require a cross-functional team consisting of experts including software developers, domain experts, testers, customer supporters, technical communicators and representatives from sales, manufacturing and marketing. Such a dynamic and knowledge-intensive, fast moving and quick response demanding environment has made a single leader not only inadequate to provide leadership on all facets of the complex job but also incapable to come up with timely solutions. Sharing of responsibility among the team leaders is situational requirement in the IT sector working. The logic for exploring of shared leadership in IT sector is that dimensions like multidisciplinary team, knowledge working, interdependency of team members on each other, mutual help, etc., exist in the IT sector companies.

In education and medical fields, researchers as well as practitioners have showed a lot of interest in study and application of shared leadership. The in-depth literature survey on shared leadership has brought to light the fact that there is need for extension of study of shared leadership into domains other than healthcare and education. This paper is also an attempt to explore Shared Leadership in a newer area, the Indian IT sector.

There have been many attempts in the recent past to construct a reliable and valid instrument for estimating shared leadership in teams in organizations. The Team Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (T.M.L.Q.), the shared Leadership Questionnaire(S.L.Q.), Questionnaire by Hiller, Day and Vance (2006), SPLITS (2015), etc. are some of such scales to name. Thus, several scholars (Alvio, Shivasubramanium, Garner, Murry, Hoch, Dolebohn, Pearce, Hiller, Day, Vance, Grille, Kauffeld, etc.) have also made attempts to reduce the large numbers of variables, related to leadership, into few manageable factors or components. This can help better conceptualization of the construct under study and also reliable and valid data collection by researchers. The originality of this study lies in the fact that there are hardly any study explaining shared leadership construct in the context of Indian IT sector. There are several research papers on leadership and shared leadership describing leadership concepts with the help of several variables. The large number of variables undertaken for study were picked from many sources but mainly from research articles and books on shared leadership which explained the concepts of shared leadership and its various determinants or constituent elements. Various research papers, many relating to developing the instruments for assessing the shared leadership, were also analyzed. This research paper is an endeavor to develop a scale to measure shared leadership.

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