Shared Leadership in a Self-Managing Team Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Organizational Leaderships

Many corporations are progressively using teams in the realization of business goals because of the increased use of technology-enabled operations. Leading such groups can be particularly challenging, and much of the current literary works on team management does not translate directly to the context of leadership in virtual teams. Recent work on organizational teams indicates that, leadership in this electronic era, might be better considered as a combined effort shared among team associates recognized by the distribution and rotating of leadership positions. As such, current work on self-managed teams seems particularly significant. Associates taking liability for the quality of the work process and product as well as distributing management and leadership functions of the group characterize the self-managed work teams -- factors not unusual in virtual contexts of work where team associates and leaders are divided by time and place.

Within self-managed groups, often there is a dependency on the participant or associates to step forward and informally carry out leadership functions within the group. Dependence on a leader who comes out informally is often considered appropriate for two reasons:

(1) The process of natural selection would result in the most qualified participant taking leadership obligations and (2) It is considered the individuals doing the work are best positioned to identify who should take various role obligations.

Empirical proof facilitates the idea that the team associates in virtual teams; do take part in emergent leadership actions similar to self-managed groups. This paper will focus on the leadership behaviors in self-managed teams introduced by the team associates themselves -- an area not covered effectively in the literary works. Specifically, the paper will address the following question on whether shared leadership related to team/organizational performance. Shared leadership is the pillar of knowledge creation in organizations

Distributed leadership includes interactive, dynamic influence procedures among and between people in groups. Thus, distributed leadership offers an idea of leadership practice as a team-level trend where several people implement actions rather than completely by those at the top or those in official management positions. Moreover, shared leadership concentrates on leadership as a social process, or a powerful, multi-directional, combined action, that like all human action and intellectual sense making, is woven in perspective in which it occurs. This understanding of shared leadership motivates a more precise focus on the egalitarian, collaborative, mutually implemented, and less ordered hierarchy of leader-follower connections.

While self-leadership concentrates on the promotion of self-sufficiency, independence and the capability to create and set one's own goals and supervises the progress toward those goals, shared leadership concentrates on the capability to link with others in accomplishing team goals. Moreover, while self-leadership concentrates on how workers can function with as little influence from leaders as possible, shared leadership concentrates on how interpersonal influence functions between team members (Olivia, 1996). Instead of conceptualizing leadership as the unidirectional application of influence from official management to subordinates, shared leadership symbolizes a conceptualization of leadership recognized by the sequential appearance of short-term leaders. This is often based on the tasks and the skills, knowledge and capabilities of the associates. Shared leadership is characterized fluid and mutual influence. As such, members of the team assume the leadership positions for which they are best suitable or are most inspired to achieve.

Team Performance and Shared Leadership

Distributed leadership is an essential intangible resource available to organizations: it should improve organizational performance on complicated projects. When members of the team offer their leadership to others and to the objective or purpose of their group, they should experience higher dedication, bring higher personal and business resources to bear on complicated projects, and share more information. When they are also open to influence from other associates, the group can function with respect and trust and develop shared leadership that in turn becomes an additional resource for enhancing team process and organizational performance. This intangible resource, which is excreted from the network connections within the group, results in higher effort, efficiency and coordination (Daft, 2011).

Team performance is greatest when other members of the team, in addition to the emergent leader, practice higher degrees of leadership influence. Failure of even only one member to demonstrate leadership behavior can be damaging to the performance of a team. Although shared leadership cannot be officially measured or defined, studies seem to support the idea that shared leadership may result in higher performance than the appearance of only one internal group leader. Taken as a whole, empirical findings suggest that shared leadership is an essential forecaster of group performance and provides a resource for groups that go beyond the leadership of any single person (Blake & Mouton, 1985).

Factors contributing to shared leadership: role of trust, potency, and commitment

The theoretical justifications for why influence should be distributed and reciprocated in a continual manner among members of the team have only lately started to get attention. Past researchers have recommended a number of circumstances and recommended antecedents that may support distributed leadership in groups like task, groups and environmental features that attempt to address issues of when distributed leadership is likely and when it is needed. The unique team features, task features, and environmental features favor distributed leadership models. In addition, researchers have developed realistic advice for assisting the expansion of distributed leadership like training on how to take part in constructive and responsible leadership, how to give and get influence, and basic teamwork skills such as citizenship behaviors, status reporting, and goal setting.

Trust is always important in any organization. The capability to share influence requires some degree of trust in another group members' capabilities and motives because influence affects power. A person who does not feel that other associates uphold dedication, are sincere, or that people might misuse her if she allows peer influence is unlikely to agree to others' influence. However, such an undertaking would create undesirable risks. For example, group associates may promote distributed leadership to the level that they understand each other as likable. Associates who have worked together for some time are likely to take part in distributed leadership.

Besides the trust, team potency also seems likely to precipitate greater levels of distributed leadership. Using self-leadership techniques, team associates can successfully improve their self-efficacy values for assuming various leadership responsibilities and roles within the team. Hence, improving perceptions of the team's potency are likely to inspire team associates with the confidence that they have the necessary abilities to take part in distributed leadership. This is reliable with the assertion that distributed leadership is possible when team associates are trained to carry their tasks mutually. However, associates must also have the combined confidence that these abilities are exist and likely to be efficient in order to accomplish shared leadership in a sustained manner.

Commitment to the group is likely to be an important promoter of shared leadership, too. To the extent that associates truly buy into the goals, beliefs and values of the team, they may also be more open to alternative, modern, and perhaps a little bit unpleasant forms of achieving those goals. Neither team associates nor official leaders can always be believed to share business objectives and goals, and the same tenet is applicable at the team level (Bligh, Pearce & Kohles, 2006). Thus, great degrees of commitment to the goals and values of the team may be even more critical for groups involved in the distributed form leadership. In order to foster an environment where associates are comfortable while giving and receiving influence, all associates must be strongly dedicated.

Such an undertaking will be beneficial to the teams' success. In case the great degrees of commitment are not present, associates are likely to be highly hesitant and even uncomfortable without a more official power source, which "keeps associates on track" in the lack of psychological connection to the team itself. In the same way, in the perspective of distributed leadership, the link between strategies adopted to influence behavior in the team and aspects of team efficiency may be mediated by members' commitment to tasks.

Knowledge creation and Shared leadership

Work requiring the intellectual resource of experienced professionals requires groups where knowledge of several people must be incorporated to create innovation. It is more challenging for leaders to have all of the abilities, skills, and knowledge crucial to lead all elements of knowledge work. Consequently, knowledge development is highly reliant on the ability to integrate and coordinate the ideas and capabilities of people with different experiences, approaches, and backgrounds.

Leadership that is shared among team members has demonstrated to be an important forecaster of group efficiency. However, distributed leadership is most essential for companies that require progressive innovation in order to offer the best goods to their customers, as well as to remain competitive in quickly changing surroundings. Traditional, more hierarchical leadership forms, which center on the person in an official leadership role as being the primary source of skills, knowledge and solutions to emerging issues, do not motivate maximum knowledge development. When team associates are motivated to lead themselves…

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