In today’s complicated business era, leaders play a critical role in the structure of business organizations. At present, business firms are facing a new reality of leadership that is virtual distance leadership. This research paper would be helpful to evaluate different constructs of the role of leader in the structure of business firms. In addition to this, the paper would also be beneficial to discuss the diverse forces that have need of strategic organizational change within organizations. The paper would also portray Virtual Distance Leadership Model that is developed by Karen Sobel Lojeski. Along with this, this research paper would also be beneficial to depict that virtual leadership has changed the organizational structure of the business associations.
Role of Leaders in Organization’s Structure
It is true that, leaders make use of organizational structure in order to shape culture all the way through a value-based leadership approach. It is because of a value-based leadership approach is crucial in order to commune organizational values within the organizations. This leadership approach is based on ethical principles such as: integrity, honesty, and social responsibility (Kotter, 2007). Along with this, it should also be noted down that, each and every organization has its own culture and there is not a unique culture that can be appropriate for all the organizations Moreover, values do not have need of a physical existence to be communal between leaders as well as followers. The culture value of all the business organization is integrity, honesty, confidence, open communication, high degree of respect, equality, tendency to measured risks and so on. In addition to this, leaders are full dedicated with the duty to endorse change within the organizations. Leaders are also cautious for changes in the business environment (Daft, 2010). For this reason, leaders can use organizational structure to form the culture, ethical values, and put up trust in both co-located as well as in virtual organizations.
Forces That Drive the Need for Strategic Organizational Change
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, business organizations must be flexible in order to adopt and implement changes for the success and growth of the organizations. Along with this, these changes are also essential to survive and to accomplish competitive advantages in the globalized world. Moreover, there are numerous environmental forces that compel the need of strategic organizational changes within business firms. For case, technologic change that is related to the modifications of the manufacturing processes is the major force that obliges the need of changes within the organization (Reilly & Ehlinger, 2007). This force plays a significant role in order to enhance the productivity and to improve the competence of the organization in an effective and a more comprehensive manner.
On the other hand, international economic integration is the other major force that compel require for strategic organizational change. It is because of the economic integration plays a significant role to unite the companies, suppliers, and customers in order to share skills, possessions, and to access another markets in an appropriate way. Moreover, market maturation that is related with the prospective to accomplish more hostile and advantageous export operations, and less regulations is also one of the major force that force the want for strategic organizational change (Selig, LeFave & Bullen, 2010). Along with this, the fall of communist & socialist regimes is also the other force because of it offers more opportunities, few barriers, and big markets to business organizations to survive in today’s more complex business era.
In addition to this, the leaders play a critical role in order to implement the culture, strategy, and structural changes within the organizations in an effective and an appropriate way. For case, the leaders of business firms emphasize their attention on the establishment of direction, alignment of people, and inspiration of employees to implement the changes in a proper way. Moreover, leaders develop a common goal, find the right people, and put up trust to build coalitions in order to implement changes within organizations in a more comprehensive way (Popescu, Li, Klamma, Leung & Specht, 2012). The leaders also develop learning leadership skills in order to execute cultural as well as structural changes in an effective way.
Lojeski's Virtual Distance Leadership Model
In 2010, Lojeski developed “Virtual Distance Leadership Model” that is very helpful for the leaders in order to communicate their vision, motivate people, and to diminish the risk of failure in an effective way. In this model, Lojeski’s includes three sets of factors such as: physical distance, operational distance, and affinity distance that can contribute to virtual distance (Lojeski, 2009). The below given diagram represents the three elements of the virtual distance leadership model:
(Source: Lojeski, 2010).
According to this model, the first element physical distance consists of geographical, temporal, and organizational distances that have an impact on the success of organizations but do not create virtual distance within the organizations. Along with this, the second element operational distance takes in communications distance, readiness distance, multitasking, etc. Moreover, an organization may change these operational elements in an easy way. But, if the business firms make changes only in a single element then it will not influence the overall performance of the organizations (Lojeski & Reilly, 2008). Apart from this, the third element affinity distance is the most important element of this model that includes cultural, social, relationship, and interdependence distance. This element is very important because of in this factor team members share cultural values and work accordingly to accomplish the goals and objectives in an effective and an appropriate manner. In this way, with the help of this model, the virtual leaders can reduce virtual distance and also improve overall performance of the organizations.
Virtual Leadership Has Changed Scene of Organizational Structure and Leader's Role
It is true that, in current, virtual leadership has changed the organizational structure and also changed the role of leaders. These days, virtual leaders are obligate to adopt new environmental requests such as: the need to remove the cross-cultural barriers in order to establish a strong engagement even though the distance, languages time & zone, and work schedule discrepancies (Lines & Scholes-Rhodes, 2013). Along with this, the major challenges that virtual leadership is facing are the execution of sophisticated technology, the completion of an effective collaboration among people of different countries, and the need to put up coalitions across geographic distances.
On the other hand, virtual leadership is also playing an important role to regulate business organizations as per the environmental challenges in order to establish as well as maintain trust among the people of diverse cultures. Virtual leaders also amend their roles and also adjust their thoughts as per the requirements of the business organizations. Moreover, Virtual leaders always perform their assigned responsibilities in the pre-determined time period in order to accomplish the strategic goals of the organizations effectively (Mia, Torben & Nicolai, 2011). For that reason, it can be said that, virtual leadership totally changed the prospect of organizational structure and also hanged the roles of leaders of the business firms.
On the basis of the above discussion, it can be assumed that, virtual leadership has become an important phenomenon for the business organizations. Moreover, virtual leaders also play a crucial role to provide shape to the culture as well as values and to establish trust in co-located as well as in virtual organizations. Along with this, it is also observed that, virtual leaders provide opportunities to business firms to operate their business in a more innovate and an unique manner.
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