E-Leadership in the Digital Age

E-Leadership in the Digital Age

Victor C.X. Wang (Florida Atlantic University, USA) and Jim Berger (Western Kentucky University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0062-1.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter argues that E-leadership emerged out of technological development among all other major developments in society. In the virtual environment, leaders are required to lead followers by using totally different approaches. This is not to say that traditional leadership has no place in the new virtual environment characterized by the constant use of technology. Rather, traditional leadership and leadership style studied and conceptualized by researchers and scholars enhance E-leadership supported by Rogers’ facilitative leadership. Leadership theories are meant to be applied to practice. Further, leadership theories can be applied in part or in whole. They are not ideologies that must be followed to the letter.
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Theoretical Framework

There are many studies associated with leadership style. Most people are familiar with the Ohio State University study on leadership style (Northouse, 2007). Less attention has been paid to a class study by Lippit and White (1958) who examined the leadership styles of youth leaders. According to Jarvis (2002), Lippit and White (1958) highlighted a threefold typology: authoritarian, laissez-faire, and democratic. They found the following:

  • Authoritarian leaders create a sense of group dependence on the leader. Their presence holds the group together, and no work was done in their absence;

  • Laissez-faire leaders achieve little work whether they were present or absent;

  • Democratic leaders achieve group cohesion and harmonious working relationships whether they were present or not. (Jarvis, 2002, p. 27)

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