Home Business & Finance Distance Leadership in International Corporations: Why Organizations Struggle when Distances Grow
Summary of implications for effective distance leadership
Figure 15 summarizes the managerial implications described in the previous paragraphs. The key to effective distance leadership lies in the combination of the application of active leadership behavior, the potential to develop high quality relationships, and the maintenance of frequent interaction with followers. In order to get to this stage, three phases can be denoted.
Figure 15. Implications for Effective Distance Leadership
(3) Optimization. The third phase describes the stage, when leader and follower have established processes of collaboration that have become standardized. Yet, those underlie a process of continuous improvement as, for instance, virtual shop- floor meetings are an established tool to improve and further develop procedures. At this point in time, leaders should be concerned with the development of the employee and provide coaching and mentoring. The task-related input is now rather low, and coordination efforts decrease as follower and leader have established a relationship of mutual trust and support. The leadership behavior with the highest impact can now be described as entailing elements of transformational leadership, superleadership, and self-leadership. Followers at this stage require an environment of autonomy and self-responsibility. The duty of the leader now shifts from leading to encouraging self-leadership of the employee. Both individuals have managed to build a mature relationship that needs to be maintained. Maintenance of relationships is often underestimated. Therefore, it is suggested that at this stage leader and follower maintain a stable level of interaction, using a combination of rich and lean media.
The last chapter of this work presents a summary of the study. This research is subject to several limitations that are addressed subsequently and are outlined according to the different parameters used in this work. Implications for research and practice follow as one major purpose of this work was to assist future researchers and organizational leaders concerned with distance leadership in either a theoretical or practical way.
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