E-Leadership or “How to Be Boss in Instant Messaging?” The Role of Nonverbal Communication

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Doing leadership in the virtual realm has now become a routine part of many leaders’ daily work, yet our understanding of how leadership is enacted in mediated contexts—especially in text-only channels—is very limited. By applying micro-level analysis to naturally occurring instant message conversations, this article exposes the strategies leaders employ to achieve a range of complex communication goals: to get the work done while fostering informality and collegiality and creating the sense of a real—and not virtual—collaboration between team members. The findings further our understanding in two domains: They provide empirical grounding for e-leadership theories by exposing practices from real-life interactions, and they contribute to discursive leadership literature by addressing nonverbal communication practices. The findings of the article could form the basis for management and leadership training by drawing attention to the linguistic and semiotic resources digital leaders have at their disposal in virtual work environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
Early online date13 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Nonverbal communication
Instant messaging
Communication
Resources
Disposal
Virtual work
Informality
Work environment
Interaction
Leadership theory

Bibliographical note

Copyright: The author(s). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Keywords

  • e-leadership
  • computer-mediated
  • virtual team leadership
  • CMC cues
  • nonverbal communication
  • grounded practical theory

Cite this

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abstract = "Doing leadership in the virtual realm has now become a routine part of many leaders’ daily work, yet our understanding of how leadership is enacted in mediated contexts—especially in text-only channels—is very limited. By applying micro-level analysis to naturally occurring instant message conversations, this article exposes the strategies leaders employ to achieve a range of complex communication goals: to get the work done while fostering informality and collegiality and creating the sense of a real—and not virtual—collaboration between team members. The findings further our understanding in two domains: They provide empirical grounding for e-leadership theories by exposing practices from real-life interactions, and they contribute to discursive leadership literature by addressing nonverbal communication practices. The findings of the article could form the basis for management and leadership training by drawing attention to the linguistic and semiotic resources digital leaders have at their disposal in virtual work environments.",
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author = "Erika Darics",
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