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Distributed leadership, trust and online communities

Distributed leadership, trust and online communities

Jameson, Jill ORCID: 0000-0002-9545-8078 (2009) Distributed leadership, trust and online communities. In: Online Communities and Social Computing: Third International Conference, OCSC 2009, Held as Part of HCI International 2009, San Diego, CA, USA, July 19-24, 2009, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5621 . Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 226-235. ISBN 9783642027734 ISSN 0302-9743 (Print), 1611-3349 (Online) (doi:

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This paper analyses the role of distributed leadership and trust in online communities. The team-based informal ethos of online collaboration requires a different kind of leadership from that in formal positional hierarchies. Such leadership may be more flexible and sophisticated, capable of encompassing ambiguity and rapid change. Online leaders need to be partially invisible, delegating power and distributing tasks. Yet, simultaneously, online communities are facilitated by the high visibility and subtle control of expert leaders. This paradox: that leaders need to be both highly visible and invisible as appropriate, was derived from prior research and tested in the analysis of online community discussions using a pattern-matching process. It is argued that both leader visibility and invisibility are important for the facilitation of trusting collaboration via distributed leadership. Advanced leadership responses to complex situations in online communities foster positive group interaction and decision-making, facilitated through active distribution of specific tasks.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Online Communities and Social Computing: Third International Conference, OCSC 2009, Held as Part of HCI International 2009, San Diego, CA, USA, July 19-24, 2009, Proceedings
Additional Information: [1] This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Third International Conference on Online Communities and Social Computing, OCSC 2009, held 19-24 July 2009 in San Diego, CA, USA, in the framework of the 13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2009 with 10 other thematically similar conferences. (Also given - ISSN 0302-9743 (Print) 1611-3349 (Online)[2] The final publication is available at
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distributed leadership; online communities; paradox; visibility; invisibility; e-learning; case studies; pattern-matching; ambiguity
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Centre for Leadership & Enterprise
Faculty of Education & Health > Education Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Secondary, LLTE & PE & Sport
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:08
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None

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