تأثیرات فرهنگی و اجتماعی بر رهبری مشترک تیم های پراکنده در سطح جهانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4450||2010||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 16, Issue 3, September 2010, Pages 234–246
Leading globally dispersed teams poses critical challenges, especially if the team members are not only physically separated, but also culturally diverse and their tasks are dynamic and complex. It has been argued that shared leadership behaviors, such as continuous reflection, anticipation of a team's information needs, and initiating a team's social influence, positively influence virtual team performance. Country-level effects on shared leadership in globally dispersed teams, however, have been neglected. Building on the country institutional profile developed by Kostova (1997), we argue that regulative, cognitive, and normative components influence the likelihood that the individual will engage in shared leadership behaviors. Analyzing the differences between the institutional profiles of team members' home countries as reflected in institutional diversity as a team-level property, we furthermore point to different levels of institutional diversity as an enabling or hindering condition of shared leadership.
Companies increasingly use cross-functional and cross-cultural teams to master the dual demands of creativity and operational efficiency (Randel & Jaussi, 2003 and Zhang et al., 2007). Besides their cultural diversity, this team set-up often entails team members also being physically dispersed, substituting direct with computer-mediated communication (Hoegl & Proserpio, 2004 and Lovelace et al., 2001). Nevertheless, team members' proximity, or the lack thereof, has potentially important implications, not only for collaboration processes, but also for leadership processes within teams. Leadership in teams can generally be defined as influencing the attitudes and behaviors of individuals as well as the interaction within and between groups regarding the achievement of goals (Bass, 1990). As team dispersion increases, the feasibility of the leader exerting direct influence on the team diminishes. This decrease in feasibility is due to fewer opportunities to directly approach the team members and control their work processes, while cultural diversity puts a further strain on team integration and cohesion. Even though improved use of the latest information and communication technology may partly mitigate this effect (e.g., e-leadership), recent surveys demonstrate that 50% of virtual teams fail to meet either strategic or operational objectives due to the leadership's inability to manage the distributed workforce (Kanawattanachai and Yoo, 2002). With the vertical leaders having limited effectiveness, attention is drawn to the team members as a potential (if not necessary) source of leadership – such as shared leadership – in dispersed project teams (Hoegl and Muethel, 2007). Shared leadership delineates a collective team process through which individual team members share the behaviors and roles of the traditional leader (Pearce and Conger, 2003). It entails a simultaneous, ongoing, mutual influencing process within teams to maximize their potential as a whole (Houghton et al., 2003, Pearce, 2004, Pearce & Manz, 2005a and Pearce & Manz, 2005b). A continuous reflection on the interrelationships between team tasks and on the environmental changes, as well as the anticipation of the team's information needs and the subsequent initiation of social influence is central to this concept (Hoegl and Muethel, 2007). The international dispersion of innovation teams leads to country-level effects influencing shared leadership processes. Although it has been maintained that shared leadership behaviors are generally beneficial in dispersed teams (Hoegl and Muethel, 2007), we argue that individuals' shared leadership behaviors are possibly influenced by country-level determinants. Country-level effects on organizational behavior are reflected by cultural as well as institutional characteristics. Concepts of national culture, such as those developed by Hofstede (2003), House et al., 2004 and Trompenaars & Wooliams, 2005, focus on culture dimensions, such as power distance and uncertainty avoidance. An alternative way of describing the relevant country-level characteristics that potentially influence the behaviors of individuals, teams, and entire organizations, is to examine a country's social institutional environment. Examples of different institutions are a nation's economy, polity, prevailing family structure, and educational system (Cullen et al., 2004 and Messner & Rosenfeld, 2001). Our aim is to consolidate both types of conceptualizations, the cultural and the institutional, and specify their effects on dispersed teams to offer a comprehensive conceptual analysis of how shared leadership is enacted in cross-cultural projects. We therefore offer the following contributions. First, we contribute to context-specific approaches to leadership, which several authors have recently demanded (Porter & McLaughlin, 2006 and Uhl-Bien et al., 2007), as our discussion of shared leadership relates to team collaboration processes in internationally dispersed projects (Furst et al., 2004). Second, our analysis offers insights into cross-cultural influences on shared leadership, thus contributing to discussions in the area of cross-cultural leadership, which are currently dominated by publications on the GLOBE Study (see, for example, Den Hartog et al., 1999, House et al., 2002, Ashkanasy et al., 2002, Howell et al., 2007, Javidan and House, 2002 and Szabo et al., 2002). Third, we extend the traditional view of culture as an exclusive country-level determinant to a more comprehensive view that integrates social institutions (Cullen et al., 2004, Kostova, 1997a and Kostova, 1997b) such as the education system (Meyer, 1977), economic freedom (Kane et al., 2007), and civil liberties (Freedom House, 2007). Fourth, by linking national-level determinants with individual employees' shared leadership behaviors, we contribute to a growing stream of cross-level international research (Cullen et al., 2004, Kostova, 1997a, Kostova, 1997b and Parboteeah & Cullen, 2003). Finally, by applying the differences in team members' institutional profile as team property, we pursue research on team diversity. Institutional diversity, defined as the difference between the institutional profiles of team members' home countries, allows us to analyze how the minimal and maximal differences between team members' profiles influence the team's shared leadership behavior. We begin by presenting shared leadership as one way of successfully dealing with vertical leadership's limited social influence on globally dispersed teams. Thereafter, we describe the societal and cultural characteristics of dispersed team members and offer propositions regarding their influence on shared leadership. We introduce institutional diversity as a team-level property, subsequently developing propositions on the relationship between minimum and maximum levels of institutional diversity and team shared leadership. We conclude by discussing the theoretical implications and consequences for managerial practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
By presenting cultural and societal-level antecedents of shared leadership, we contribute to context-specific theories of leadership in two ways: First, we pursue shared leadership theory by identifying national culture and societal institutions as country-level antecedents of shared leadership. Second, we contribute to cross-cultural management theories by applying Kostova, 1997a and Kostova, 1997b country institutional profile in the context of leadership in dispersed teams. Third, we advance research on diversity (see exemplary Harrison and Klein, 2007) by applying institutional diversity as a separating element in team shared leadership. 6.1. Theoretical implications Our conceptual analysis of country-level antecedents of shared leadership both ties in with previous work in face-to-face teams and pursues shared leadership theory in the context of cross-cultural, virtual collaboration. We build on the extant work on shared leadership by Pearce and colleagues (Pearce, 2004 and Pearce & Conger, 2003), defining shared leadership as a collective team process through which individual team members share the traditional leader's behaviors and roles. Moreover, we tie in with earlier publications by Hoegl and Muethel (2007), who elaborate specific shared leadership behaviors, such as screening the environment to identify action needs and to encourage the affected team members to mutually agree to solutions. Finally, by specifying cultural and societal influences on shared leadership, we pursue research on shared leadership's country-level determinants (Carson et al., 2007), which has far been largely ignored. Thus, this article offers an initial conceptual grounding for these required extensions of shared leadership theory. Furthermore, we extend country-level antecedents, which traditionally focus on Hofstede's (2003) cultural dimensions by using the country institutional profile by Kostova, 1997a and Kostova, 1997b. While the normative component of the country institutional profile embraces social norms, values, beliefs, and assumptions about human behavior that integrate with the widely known culture dimensions (in our case, those of GLOBE), the regulatory and cognitive components offer additional insights into the country-level antecedents of shared leadership. Consequently, the laws and rules in the specific national environment that limit or enlarge individual economic, civil and political freedom also influence shared leadership behaviors by delineating the individual and team autonomy that is an essential part of initiative and responsibility taking. Furthermore, cognitive elements, in our case the level of learning orientation, offer additional insights into country-level antecedents by pointing to the different levels of shared leadership related to cognitive scheme building in a country's institutional environment. Consequently, the application of the country institutional profile offers a more comprehensive analysis of the country-level antecedents of shared leadership that are not restricted to values and norms. By applying the country institutional profile to analyze country-level effects, we are in line with studies by Cullen et al. (2004), who analyze cross-national differences in managers' willingness to justify unethical behaviors, and by Busenitz et al. (2000), who uses Kostova, 1997a and Kostova, 1997b to study entrepreneurial phenomena. Finally, we pursue research on diversity as a separating team condition. Building on Harrison and Klein's (2007) differentiation between different types of diversity (i.e., separation, variety and disparity), we argue that within a team, members differ from one another in their shared-leadership-related institutional profile. Perpetuating Harrison and Klein's (2007) rationale, we show that minimal and maximal levels of institutional diversity have differing influences on team shared leadership behavior. Consequently, we refine the authors' arguments on minimum institutional diversity, emphasizing that although homogeneity is a necessary condition for institutional diversity, it is not sufficient to foster shared leadership. Moreover, by specifying different levels of institutional diversity, we demonstrate that institutional diversity does not foster shared leadership per se, only doing so under certain conditions. These insights have implications for further research as well as for managerial practice. 6.2. Managerial implications The managerial implications of our conceptual analyses focus on managing institutional diversity. Based on our theoretical elaboration, we argue that managers need to specifically deal with critical levels of institutional diversity: (1) when not only institutional diversity, but also the level of the institutional profile is at a minimum (everybody agrees not to engage in shared leadership behavior); (2) when institutional diversity is at the maximum (the team is nearly equally split between highly engaged team members and those not engaging at all). Different measures are advisable for the two potentially critical dispersion levels. 6.2.1. Managing minimal institutional diversity when the institutional profile is low This variation of minimal institutional diversity points to the institutional profile of most of the team members being low; consequently, they might be equally disinterested in demonstrating shared leadership behavior. In this case, it is unlikely that the team members will demonstrate initiative, but the leader has to develop team shared leadership. The vertical leader therefore has to share his or her decision authority, thus empowering the team (Hackman and Wageman, 2005), but should also demand that the team members make use of their autonomy and accept responsibility (Houghton et al., 2003). Serving as a role model, the leader therefore engages in shared leadership behavior, demanding shared leadership from the team members, i.e. asking for information, for potential actions needs, but also for feedback and advice. Publicly acknowledging certain team members' shared leadership behavior early on in the project may help to reinforce such behavior patterns. Vertical leaders in teams with minimal institutional diversity when the institutional profile is low thus often initiate joint project kick-off meetings during which the project team can meet, discuss, and determine the project goals and how to accomplish them (Ericksen and Dyer, 2004). The leader shares his or her decision authority, thus fostering team goal setting (Druskat and Wheeler, 2001). Furthermore, supporting the team members' definition of work packages, the leader supports their autonomous task accomplishment (Levitt et al., 1999). 6.2.2. Managing maximal institutional diversity When confronted with two separated sub teams (one with high and the other with low levels of the institutional profile), team leaders essentially have two options. On the one hand, they can aim at achieving mutual adjustment to a productive level of shared leadership across the team (Zimmermann and Sparrow, 2007) by demanding shared leadership behaviors more directly, and by establishing norms early through the acknowledgement of desired behaviors. If team conflict occurs (Jehn, 1997), the project leader primarily fosters cooperative team conflict solving (Alper et al., 2000) by serving as a mediator, i.e. guiding the process, but allowing the disputants to control the outcome, helping them engage in perspective taking, guiding them toward a realistic settlement, and helping to improve their relationships (Jameson, 2001). In cases of maximal institutional diversity, leaders should set clear expectations with regard to the team members' empowered role, formulating rules regarding frequency of communication, reporting systems, and conflict management as precisely as possible (Taggar and Ellis, 2007). On the other hand, leaders of such teams can consciously decide to use different leadership styles for the two sub-groups. They can, in other words, share leadership where the institutional profile supports this and exhibit more directive (hands-on) leadership where the institutional profile inhibits sharing it. Leaders thus do not always strive to achieve mutual adjustment, specifically in cross-cultural alliances, but under certain conditions (e.g., in interfirm-collaboration) prefer to apply different leadership styles. In German–Chinese teams, for example, interaction with German project members is often directed at fostering shared leadership behavior (Frese et al., 1996), while interaction with Chinese project members mostly incorporates paternalistic leadership behavior (Westwood, 1997). 6.3. Further research The concept of shared team leadership in dispersed project teams provides a basis for further conceptual and empirical work. This includes both qualitative studies to obtain rich and illustrative examples of antecedents at various levels in dispersed project teams, and quantitative studies to analyze the relative effects of such antecedents. Particularly quantitative research can shed more light on the relative weight of the regulative, cognitive and normative antecedents of team shared leadership, which are considered to have equal influence in this manuscript. Since extant research applying the country institutional profile shows that the three pillars do not equally influence the respective dependent variable and, moreover, do not even do so with regard to the different variables within each of the pillars (Parboteeah et al., 2008 and Praveen Parboteeah et al., 2009), quantitative investigations can deepen our understanding of the different variables' relative importance for employees' shared leadership behavior. With regard to the levels of analysis, we focus on the national-level antecedents of shared leadership in this paper, arguing that above and beyond individual, team and organizational-level aspects, globally acting teams are also confronted with country-level influences. However, we realize that individual, team, and organizational aspects will also affect individuals' shared leadership behavior. First, antecedents on the individual level may include self-leadership skills and social skills. Self-leadership comprises behavioral and cognitive strategies, such as self-regulation, self-control, and self-management, through which individuals influence themselves (Houghton et al., 2003). Social skills enable team members to resolve conflicts, to collaborate in problem solving, and to communicate effectively (Stevens and Campion, 1994). Second, the team-level antecedents of team shared leadership may include shared mental models, team commitment to shared goals, and team identification. These models comprise an organized understanding of the team's relevant environment, which its members share (Klimoski and Mohammed, 1994). Team commitment to shared goals refers to the team's belief in their acceptance of the shared goals and their willingness to exert effort in respect of the team task (Kirkman and Rosen, 1999). Team identification (Ellemers et al., 2002) includes the perception of oneness with or belongingness to the team. Third, organizational culture may be an organizational-level antecedent of shared leadership. Organizational cultures characterized by innovativeness (e.g., seeking new ideas), participative decision making (e.g., decisions based on open discussion), and power sharing (e.g., atmosphere of cooperation) (Hurley and Hult, 1998) might specifically influence the likelihood of shared leadership behavior positively. Beyond elaborating the antecedents of shared leadership on various levels, we believe that the analysis of the moderating and mediating effects also offers further insights into the theory of shared leadership in globally dispersed teams. The most persuasive demand for additional research on shared leadership is, however, derived from the practical relevance of internationally dispersed projects. Companies are rapidly increasing their use of internationally dispersed teams (McDonough et al., 2001) and many are finding it difficult to reap their potential. We attribute these difficulties (at least in part) to the team members' national diversity and its effect on shared team leadership behaviors. As developed in this paper, the concept of the country-level determinants of shared leadership aims at generating and aiding much needed scholarly inquiry into addressing this leadership challenge.