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Distributed leadership and the visibility/invisibility paradox in on-line communities

Distributed leadership and the visibility/invisibility paradox in on-line communities

Jameson, Jill ORCID: 0000-0002-9545-8078 (2011) Distributed leadership and the visibility/invisibility paradox in on-line communities. Human Technology, 7 (1). pp. 49-71. ISSN 1795-6889

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This paper analyzes the role of distributed leadership in three on-line communities, reflecting on an observed visibility/invisibility paradox in leadership within these communities. Leaders who downplay their seniority and assume a degree of invisibility, allocating discretionary powers to subordinate levels in an organizational hierarchy, may facilitate the emergence of distributed leadership. Yet, simultaneously, leader-led relations are enabled by high leadership visibility. This paradox—that leaders need to be both highly visible and also invisible, or hands-off, when the occasion requires it—was derived from prior research into e-learning communities and tested in the analysis of discussions from on-line communities using a case study pattern-matching process. The operation of both visibility and invisibility in leadership is a key issue for enabling effective collaborations in distributed leadership situations based on trust. Such collaboration fosters positive group interaction and participative decision making in a consensus facilitated through leadership distribution amongst on-line community members.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published: May 2011. [2] Human Technology is an online only journal. [3] Published in Human Technology, Volume 7(1), May 2011 - Special Issue on Distributed Leadership & On-line Communities. Niki Lambropoulos and Marianna Vivitsou, Guest Editors. [4] Published as: Human Technology, (2011) Vol. 7(1), pp. 49–71.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distributed leadership; on-line communities; visibility/invisibility paradox; e-learning leadership; case study methodology; pattern-matching; leadership; ambiguity
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
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
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:19
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None

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