LEADERSHIP IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT 9
TheoreticalPerspective of Leadership in a Virtual Environment
Companiesuse different management techniques hence, they get diverseperformance results. Traditional management techniques put greateremphasis on the operational effectiveness. However, many businessleaders expressed their dissatisfaction with the emerging results.The selection of any given management approach is critical to ensurethat both the short-term and long-term objectives are realized. Theformulation of a strategic plan should be guided by the particularcircumstances facing an organization. To enhance the success of anybusiness venture, it is necessary to identify the right techniqueswhile avoiding costly mistakes for employing inappropriateapproaches. Sometimes, it is necessary to consider strategicre-orientation that depicts the capacity of a firm to withstand thechanging business environment. The paper examines the perspectives ofleadership theories in the crowdfunding initiatives.
Accordingto Mollick (2014), crowdfunding is a concept of raising money frominterested individuals to support a business venture. It is estimatedthat tens of billions of dollars are raised using the approach in thecurrent investment settings. The advancement in technology has aidedto enhance the process due to its wide reach and effectiveness. Thecurrent model is pegged on three main participants, namely moderatingcompany, initiator, and financiers. The model aims at bringing theparties together with the aim of enhancing the execution of theproposed ideas. Crowdfunding is common in creative ventures, medicalexpenses, and social entrepreneurship. The effectiveness of theprocess and the attainment of positive outcomes are dependent on thenature of leadership. Leadership tactics are also specific on thethings to be done by every team, including the resources required toachieve the objectives. The realization of positive outcomes andgoals will be accomplished through the implementation of innovativemanagement and resource planning.
EmergentLeadership Versus Assigned Leadership
Accordingto Roweand Guerrero(2011), assigned leaders get their powers and authorities from theassigned responsibilities and levels within a company’s structure.It is notable that a company’s hierarchy in leadership offersdistinct roles, powers, and responsibilities to individuals. It isthrough the authority that the leaders attain respect andfollowership from the employees. The assigned leaders are, thus,expected to undertake their roles according to the powers awarded intheir respective jurisdiction. In addition, the leaders need to usetheir skills and competencies to provide guidance to the followers.In doing so, the leaders should demonstrate wisdom and ability tomotivate, as well as solve problems affecting their organizations(Rowe& Guerrero, 2011).
Onthe other hand, emergent leadership is explained in the context ofencouraging and motivating others to attain positive results (Bryman,2013). Emergent leadership aims at ensuring that all followers worktogether harmoniously towards attaining the common objectives. Often,individuals using the said perspective prove their worth even beforethey reach senior positions within an organization’s hierarchy. Inaddition, such persons seek to know in advance the issues awaitingthem, including the future goals and needs. The emergent style isbeneficial in that it allows the employer understand one’s skillseven before proposing a promotion to senior position. Theirundertakings within an organization enable such individuals tocommand respect from their peers (Lisak & Erez, 2015).
Arenowned management scholar, Mintzberg, identifies two mainapproaches in the strategy development, the intended and emergentstrategies. He highlights that the anticipated approach encompassesfunctions and responsibilities set and performed by the seniorexecutives. In his explanation, Mintzberg observes that theexecutives have a primary role in the supervising and formulatingstrategies that will enhance the realization of the deliberatedgoals. The executives are bestowed an important mandate since theyare deemed more qualified and experienced to manage an organization.Further, the planned approach looks at the organized events andprocedures that consider both the internal and external components(Cordova,Dolci, & Gianfrate, 2015).
Comparedto assigned leaders, the emergent ones appear sympathetic andmotivational to the followers. The emergent leadership is bettercompared to assigned style when applied in crowdfunding within aglobal environment. The consideration is based on the fact thatcrowdfunding requires an individual who appeals to most people,including the investors and the employees. Organizations need to havestrategies to help them adjust their value proposition according tothe main threats and opportunities in a virtual environment. It isthus essential to contemplate the appropriate strategies to use inthe crowdfunding initiatives besides adopting the strategies toimprove people’s management (Zacharakis & Drover, 2013).
EmergentLeadership in Self-Managed Virtual Teams
Inthe current business environment, leadership in virtual teams isgaining importance. Virtual teams are normally self-managed with noassigned leader to supervise the followers. Projects undertaken byvirtual teams have restricted lifespan and definite deliverables.Much as virtual teams improve the flexibility in setting andevaluating goals, the style undermines the coordination of activitiesas well as influence on other people. The important thing aboutself-managed teams is their propensity to adopt shared behaviors foroverall satisfaction. In addition, the perspective has great regardfor performance due to great focus on undertaking group work.The style is also instrumental in mobilizing resources and financesfrom people of different diversities.
Onthe emergent strategies, it is important to consider short-term goalsand daily operations within a company. The approach requires theregular examination of the business processes and their contributiontowards the attainment of long-term objectives. Often, issues emergeon a regular basis hence affect the performance and overall goals.Appropriate emergent strategies help in regular review of theexisting approaches to conform to the prevailing circumstances. It isrealized through logical incrementalism where the developedstrategies experiment partially. The approach helps in steadyimplementation of business plan hence improving the quality of theresults. It also helps to eliminate future risks and uncertainties inbusiness (Pretorius & Maritz, 2011).
Emergentleadership in self-managed virtual teams encourages the members toadopt behaviors that aim at realizing the organizational goals. Thereis creation of great harmony among the members, with the junioremployees respecting their leaders. Self-managed teams aim atenhancing their synergy to enhance the success of their engagements.Self-management is important in improving the rate of success ofcrowdfunding activities. Another important element is the likelihoodthat the members will not await for direction from their bosses butwill undertake the right things at the right time.Leaders need to engage in practices and tendencies that enhanceattainment of positive outcomes. Doing the right things helps leadersto influence their followers positively in a manner that benefittheir organization and stakeholders. The move helps in identificationof the right culture and behavior to instill in a company. Emergentleadership enhances the creation of shared decision-making among themembers, which is an important issue in crowdfunding activities. Thesuccess of crowdfunding is pegged on the capacity to reach thepooling goals (Cordova,Dolci, & Gianfrate, 2015).Virtual teams monitor closely the behavior of other members with theaim of focusing on performance and positive outcomes. Nonetheless,emergent style comes out strongly during the initial stages of agroup’s lifespan, although the strength decreases with time.
Differencebetween a Virtual Team and a Global Community
Avirtual team needs to create great trust, empathy, and respect due tothe limited face-to-face interactions. It is notable that a virtualteam is likely to encounter linguistic and cultural differences thathave the potential to influence the attainment of results. As such,the members should manage the geographical distances and diversity toenhance competitive advantage. Contrary, the global community hasdeep-rooted mistrust and misunderstanding due to diversity incharacteristics and interests. Another difference between the twoteams is difficulties in generating a workable formula to attaintheir objectives. A virtual team is likely to encounter minimaldifficulties as the members try to adopt a shared behavior thatimproves their work. Further, the members seek to improve theirvirtual collaboration and cooperation hence generating an improvedwork climate. Cooperation in the global community is sometimesdifficult because of the differences in interests and mistrust (Lisak& Erez, 2015).
Collaborationand cooperation among the members in a virtual team enhance thesuccess of crowdfunding. Due to comprehension among the members,there is greater cohesion that has potential to improve outcomes.Additionally, proper management of diversity has a significant rolein the accomplishment of crowdfunding. Every member gets theopportunity to benchmark his or her personal leadership style tomirror the interests of an organization. Optimal performance isachievable as the members create processes that eliminate thebarriers brought by socio-cultural differences. Crowdfunding requiresthe initiators to have great trust and confidence with one another(Anglin,Allison, McKenny, & Busenitz, 2014).
Sociallyresponsible investing entails on ethical and sustainable venturesthat mind about the interests of stakeholders. SRI’s application ina global is mainly in ventures that result in social change andfinancial returns. The investors commit their willingness to supportsustainable initiatives. In the contemporary society, there has beenincreased need for engagement in socially-responsible ventures thatlessen the burden to humanity. Moreover, the initiatives encouragegood corporate and ethical practices that ensure consumer protection,innovation, and diversity. It is notable that investors evadeinitiatives that promote inappropriate behaviors such as drugs, fastfood, and production of fossil fuel, among others (Wheat, Wang,Byrnes, & Ranganathan, 2013).
Sociallyresponsible investing is now common in the current society. Inparticular, web users are supporting philanthropic activities orprojects through the crowdfunding model. Some of the projects arenon-profit, although they attract considerable support fromwell-wishers. The model allows people to contribute financesaccording to their capabilities. In some instances, there is nominimum figure when seeking to support a project. One can alsosupport a project of choice after sampling a selection of projects.Platforms such as Kiva and Wokai enable people to get loans in thedeveloping societies. Through crowdfunding, the platforms manage thefinances by making loans available to small investors. The success ofcrowdfunding can also be seen in the application person-to-personlending through the Zidisha platform in the US. Capitalist systemsare known to have great support for crowdfunding due to openness andtrust among the individual. The investors have great regard for theirshareholder value and returns hence can invest in a project as longas it complies with the set guidelines.
Incrowdfunding initiatives, the nature of a business has considerableinfluence in attracting the investors to support the project. Thesuccess is pegged on three main parameters namely social justice,environment, and corporate governance. Ideas that promote these threeobjectives have a high propensity of attracting huge amounts offunding from people across the world. It is thus necessary for theinitiator of the project to identify good portfolio that will notdraw negative criticisms (Anglin,Allison, McKenny, & Busenitz, 2014).
Inthe development of business strategies, different levels namelybusiness-level and corporate-level approaches require detailedconsultation and examination of the business frontier. As such, oneis supposed to examine the strategic direction of an organization byconducting a well-thought stakeholder analysis. Leadersutilizing crowdfunding model to support social entrepreneurial andnon-profit projects need to closely examine the variables, goals, andmetrics during the planning stage. The model has potential to act asfinancial source for social entrepreneurs. As seen in the discussionabove, the organizational leaders need to possess skills that enhanceresource mobilization from the investors. Besides, the leaders shouldmotivate the followers towards the attainment of positive results.Emergent leadership style appears better than the assigned leadershipin undertaking crowdfunding processes.
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