Shared Leadership Meets Virtual Teams: A Match Made in Cyberspace

Document Type

Book Chapter


Drucker School of Management (CGU)

Publication Date



Leadership Studies


Virtual teams are generally widely dispersed by geography, and also often by culture, language and time. They are usually comprised of highly skilled professionals and are brought together in order to achieve strategic organizational goals or to work on complex projects. They do not normally meet face-to-face but, rather, build and maintain relationships using various types of communication and information sharing technologies. With the continued increase in virtual teams a new leadership model becomes critical since traditional hierarchical models might not be able to facilitate the results that the organization needs to compete in a globalized economy. The authors suggest that shared leadership (e.g., Pearce & Conger, 2003), the dynamic allocation of leadership responsibility based on the expertise of the team member and the needs of the team or project, might be the solution to more effectively creating productive, balanced teams in a virtual workplace. This chapter is a brief exploration of the shared leadership literature as it pertains to organizing, leading and participating on a virtual team.

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