Remote Transformational Leadership

The importance of transformational leadership has also been demonstrated in non-business settings. For example, principals’ use of transformational leadership is indirectly related to student performance (Koch et al. , 1995). Athletic performance among student athletes is indirectly associated with coaches’ transformational leadership (Carbonated et al. , 2001). Moreover, several studies have demonstrated the relationship between union stewards’ transformational leadership and members’ participation in local union activities (e. G. Vulgar et al. , 1992; Galloway and Barbing, 1993).

More generally, the dynamics of transformational leadership involve followers having a strong personal identification with the leader, a shared vision for the future, and working collectively for the benefit of the group. Yammering and Dubbing’s (1994) describe transformational leaders as heightening The Emerald Research Register for this journal is available at http://www. Merchandising. Com/archaeologists awareness and interests in groups, increasing employee confidence, and gradually moving the followers’ interests from the importance of their personal existence to the existence of the group.

Leaders achieve this by illustrating four main characteristics: 1 idealized influence; 2 inspirational motivation; 3 individual consideration; and 4 intellectual stimulation. Leaders manifest idealized influence when they make improvements in performance by participating in risks with their followers, maintain consistency in their behavior, and are dependable. Through inspirational titivation, leaders bring meaning and purpose to the work being done, and introduce challenges and maintain motivation.

Charisma, a process where leaders arouse followers by being visionary, motivational and powerful, confident and captivating their followers (Bass, 1985), is the sum of inspirational motivation and idealized influence. Leaders who display charismatic leadership are able to use expressive language that is emotionally appealing and communicate a clear vision that is related to the need and values of the followers (Yuk and Van Fleet, 1992). Leaders display intellectual stimulation when they alp their followers develop new ideas, motivating them to take alternative routes to problem solving and take a closer look at all possible solutions.

Finally, individualized consideration occurs when leaders pay individual attention to their followers, providing support and acting as coach. Remote leadership Most previous studies of transformational leadership have focused on leadership in face-to-face interactions (e. G. Darling et al. , The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at http://www. Nearsightedly. Com/0143-7739. HTML [ 163 ] E. Kevin Galloway, Julian Barbing, Elizabeth Kelley, Julie Commits and Barnett Gating 1996; Howell and Viola, 1993; Koch et al. , 1995) in which the leader is physically present with the followers.

Indeed, some authors have suggested that this degree of contact is necessary for leadership to occur (Kerr and Jerkier, 1978). However, with the advent of globalization, extended spans of control and advanced communication technology (Viola et al. , 2001), organizational leaders are frequently tasked with leading” employees who work in remote locations, or with leading so many employees that direct facets-face contact on a regular basis is difficult. As a result, leaders increasingly rely on technologically-based communication with subordinates including the use of electronic mail (e-mail) and video/teleconferencing.

Leadership interactions that are characterized by electronically-mediated communication between geographically and physically isolated leaders and followers are what we term ‘ ‘ remote” leadership, and constitutes the focus for our current research. Although there is little doubt that organizations are increasingly reliant on remote leadership, there is some concern that these interactions may be less than optimal. For example, as noted above, Kerr ND Jerkier (1978) suggested that effective leadership would be impossible under conditions that limit close interpersonal contact between leaders and followers.

At least two studies have found that the effect of leadership on performance was negatively affected by the geographical distance between the leader and the follower (Howell and Hall-Amerada, 1999; Foodstuff et al. , 1984). The more general difficulties of electronically mediated communication are vividly illustrated by recent events at Corner Corp.. An inter-office e-mail from the CEO to managers was ‘ ‘ leaked” and posted on an Internet Web site. The e-mail read in part: We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of our K. C. -based EMPLOYEES. The parking lot is sparsely used at 8 a. . ; likewise at 5 p. M. As managers В± you either do not know what your EMPLOYEES are doing; or you do not CARE. It went on to threaten harsh punishment (including layoffs) if the situation was not improved within the following two weeks (Business and Health, 2001 , May). The subsequent 23 per cent decline in company share price over the next three days was largely attributed to the hostile and belligerent tone of the company’s leader. Empirically, and consistent with this anecdotal evidence, there are also data suggesting that electronically-med dated [164] communication may be less than optimal.

In their laboratory-based study (using a procedure parallel to that used in our second study), Foster and Covert (2000) found that there were communication problems among team members using computer-mediated communications, and that there were higher recorded inaccuracies in the compartmented teams than in teams that met face-to-face. Study 1 Research on electronically-mediated leadership is in its infancy. Accordingly, in our first study we chose a vignette approach that maximizes experimental control and internal validity. In this study, we were primarily interested in two questions.

First, can recipients perceive and accurately identify leadership styles” communicated by e-mail? Second, is receiving an e-mail with a positive (i. E. Transformational) leadership message as opposed to a negative message (i. E. Management-by-exception or legislature) perceived to be associated with positive outcomes? These are important questions, because in defining transformational leadership, Bass (1985, 1998) made it clear that other monuments need to be considered. Therefore, we include a focus on two additional leadership behaviors.

First, management-by-exception takes place when standards are not met and is a form of negative performance monitoring, usually punitive, and is typically associated negatively with employee performance (e. G. Howell and Hall-Amerada, 1999). Second, a laissez-fairer style literally reflects nonlinearities, and is manifested when managers avoid taking any action, deny their responsibilities, and procrastinate whenever possible (Bass, 1985). We suggest that both laissez-fairer and management-by-exception styles may be specially relevant to a remote leadership environment.

In the case of the laissez-fairer style, it may be more appropriate to speak of a medium in which no leadership takes place. In such situations, e-mails would only be transmitted from leaders to their direct reports when absolutely necessary, and would be brief and devoid of any positive or negative statements. Leaders adopting this style would be both geographically and psychologically ‘ ‘ remote” from their subordinates. In contrast, where physical distance precludes frequent interpersonal contact, e-mail may be a suitable medium for the reactive of management-by-exception (Howell and Hall-Amerada, 1999; Foodstuff et al. 1984), because e-mail may be particularly appropriate for leaders who wish to monitor and control their subordinates’ behaviors (Sham and Howell, 1999). In such cases, emails from leaders would focus on the consequences for mistakes by their subordinates. Consistent with previous findings on the full range of transformational leadership (Viola, 1999), we would suggest that e-mails from supervisors that are characterized by a laissez-fairer style would have no effects on direct reports, whereas e-mails that typify management-by-exception old have negative effects.

In contrast, when the content of e-mails is characterized by transformational leadership, the effect on subordinates would be positive. For this first study, we focus on the perceived effects of transformational leadership, management-by-exception, and laissez-fairer on two aspects of employee morale that have been shown in prior research to be positively affected by transformational leadership, namely interpersonal justice and job satisfaction. These outcome measures were chosen because of research showing their importance to organizations. For example, interpersonal injustice has recognized active effects for the organization (e. . Greenberg, 1996). Several decades of research have shown that job dissatisfaction is associated with higher rates of absence and turnover (Specter, 1997). To address these two questions, we use a vignette approach, in which groups of students each read one vignette, with one type of leadership message embedded. Two methodological issues warrant comment. First, because all of the data gathered are based on self-reports, we include a third outcome variable as a measure of divergent validity. That is, we also assessed continuance commitment (Meyer and Allen, 1997).

Continuance commitment reflects employees’ choosing to stay with their organization not because they want to, but because they have limited options. Continuance commitment is not plausibly associated with leadership. Thus, we predict that receiving the transformational leadership vignette would be associated with high levels of interpersonal justice and job satisfaction, but should have no effect on continuance commitment. Second, vignette studies maximize internal validity at the expense of generalization, which is appropriate in the initial stages of a research program such as this.

It is critical, however, hat the vignettes themselves manifest internal validity, and to this end, we first conducted a pilot study. Pilot study: development of vignettes Separate vignettes had to be created to reflect an e-mail representing transformational leadership (charisma, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration), management-by-exception, and laissez-fairer. To enhance ecological validity, all these vignettes were carefully designed to resemble real e-mails. First, the layout was similar to a typical e-mail (e. G. The heading included the name of the sender and the recipient, the date and the subject matter).

Second, the content was similar to regular e-mails (i. E. The message was short and to the point). Third, the e-mail deliberately included missing words, spelling and grammatical errors. All three vignettes in which a leader” responded to an ‘ ‘ e-mail from the subordinates” were read by eight graduate students who had participated in course work on transformational leadership. Each vignette depicted one of the three leadership styles as shown below: 1 Transformational leadership Hi Jeff, can see the problem . This is not an easy situation, but I know you can solve it. Start by thinking of other times when a similar tuition happened …