Success remotely : a case study of Meskula Oy
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-202311133213
Oulu : V. Iitiä,
|Publish Date:|| 2023-11-14
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Digitalization has been a guiding force for change and development across multiple industries, organizations, and roles in the modern era. In the context of business studies, the varying effects of digitalization have been analysed, for example, from the perspectives of change management, digital transformation, strategy, organizational culture, and leadership. As the modern workforce relies on different technologies in increasing numbers, the relevance of effective leadership in the e-world is gaining momentum.
Although leadership in the digital era, otherwise referred to as e-leadership, has been studied since the turn of the century, the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly made remote working practices drastically mundane, introducing virtual work to the everyday life for many. However, research suggests that there remains significant doubt both in managers beliefs in their own virtual management skills, as well as, in the capabilities of employees to work online.
Research has proven that virtual working arrangements are hardly a sole upgrade to existing practices, but pose several challenges for effective communication, trust building, performance management, and ethics. However, companies aim to benefit from the other side of the coin in increasing numbers when scouting for the best talent across country boarders, establishing faster response and decision- making processes, implementing around the clock services, saving on office space, and reducing emissions caused by commuting.
Reaping the benefits of virtual working arrangements thus calls for effective management practices to overcome the challenges presented by the e-world. Academia has presented shared forms of leadership as a solution for tackling the downsides of virtual work when increased autonomy of employees results in reduced need for formal supervision. However, the ways to ensure successful implementation of such forms of leadership as well as the role of the formal leader remain scantly explored.
This study aims to contribute to the academic discussion surrounding shared forms of leadership in the context of virtual teams by examining a company where shared leadership is a strategic tool to manage a fully virtual organization. The results of the study provide further support for shared leadership as a way to tackle the challenges emerging from virtual working arrangements, while additionally shedding light into the success factors for successfully implementing shared leadership. The results also pave way for understanding what exact behaviours should remain the responsibility of formal leadership.
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