Follow me: Strategies used by emergent leaders in virtual organizations

Follow me: Strategies used by emergent leaders in virtual organizations

By
Lindred Leura Greer, Karen Jehn
International Journal of Leadership Studies.
2009, Vol. 5, Pages 102-120

In this multi-method study, we investigated the strategies used by members who emerged as leaders in organizations communicating primarily via e-mail communication. We hypothesized and found that members who emerged as leaders tended to rely on soft influence tactics, were consistent in their usage of a certain influence tactic, and participated in e-mail exchanges more than other members. Additionally, we found that e-mail style moderated the relationship between soft tactic usage and emergent leadership, such that members who used weak e-mail style when using soft tactics were more likely to emerge as leaders. The use of weak e-mail style, such as typos or unclear wording, may have increased the degree to which soft tactics were perceived to be sincere, and therefore increased their effectiveness.