E-leadership: Re-examining transformations in leadership source and transmission

Bruce J. Avolio, John J. Sosik, Surinder S. Kahai, Bradford Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


At the turn of the century, the first integrative review and conceptualization of the work on e-leadership was published in The Leadership Quarterly. During the late 1990's, with the rapid rise in advanced information technology (AIT) such as the Internet, e-mail, video conferencing, virtual teams, and groupware systems (GDSS), there were a number of authors beginning to examine how AIT would transform how organizations organize their work and the implications for leadership in those organizations. Much of this discussion fell under the broad label of "virtual" with authors at that time speculating how such technology might impact how leadership was practiced and investigated. Now, over a decade later, we re-examine how the theory, research, and practice domains have evolved with respect to the work on e-leadership and its implications for the way leadership functions. In this review, we have broadened the notion of what constitutes e-leadership, considering how AIT affects the leadership dynamic, how the leadership dynamic affects the faithful or unfaithful appropriation of AIT, how AIT can and is being used to develop leadership, and ultimately how each will shape how organizations function well into the future. In sum, we examine what we've learned about e-leadership, what needs to be learned, and what might constitute emerging topics that could drive the e-leadership agenda over the next decade and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-131
Number of pages27
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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