E-leadership: an Empirical Study of Organizational Leaders' Virtual Communication Adoption

Liu, Cheol / Ready, David / Roman, Alexandru / Van Wart, Montgomery / Wang, XiaoHu / McCarthy, Alma / Kim, Soonhee


Purpose - Even though e-leadership was broadly defined in 2001 (Avolio et al.), there has been surprisingly little progress (Avolio et al., 2014). In order to make a better progress, the authors recommend dividing the field into four quadrants to facilitate the research focus. It can be divided by e-leadership phases (the adoption of technology phase vs the quality of use of technology phase), as well as the purposes (e-leadership as virtual communication vs e-leadership as management of organizational structures). The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach - This study provides a model of e-leadership as communication adoption at the individual level (ECAM). Structural equation modeling was used to test a previously published model by Van Wart et al (2017a). The model included select traits and skills (as antecedent conditions), awareness of ICTs, evaluation of ICTs, willingness to expend effort in learning about ICTs, intention to use ICTs, and facilitating conditions.

Findings - The overall model demonstrates a good fit. It can be concluded that the ECAM, represents a valid model for understanding e-leaders' technological adoption. It is also found that while all select skills and traits are significant - energy, responsibility and analytical skills stand above the others.

Originality/value - To the best of the authors' knowledge, this represents the first effort to operationalize e-leadership.

Issue Date
Keywords Plus
Leadership; E-leadership; ICT; Technology adoption
Leadership & Organization Development Journal, v.39, no.7, pp.826 - 843, 2018
Journal Title
Leadership & Organization Development Journal
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