Emergent leadership in self-organizing virtual teams

Robert Heckman, Nora Misiolek, Kevin Crowston, U. Yeliz Eseryel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In our poster we present a structuration-based theory of leadership behaviours in self-organizing virtual teams. Building on behavioural leadership theory and structuration theory, we present a two-order theory of leadership. It describes four classes of first-order leadership behaviours (task coordination, substantive task contribution, group maintenance, and boundary spanning) and defines second-order leadership as behaviour that influences changes in the structure that guides group action. We argue that second-order leadership is enabled by first-order leadership, is therefore action embedded, and is grounded in processes that define the social identity of the group. We propose that effective virtual teams will exhibit a paradoxical combination of shared, distributed first-order leadership complemented by strong, concentrated, and centralized secondorder leadership. We present the design and results from a research project to test and further elaborate our theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2007
Event28th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2007 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Dec 9 2007Dec 12 2007


Other28th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2007
CityMontreal, QC


  • Leadership
  • Self-organizing teams
  • Structuration theory
  • Virtual teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems

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