As the world moves into a new era of globalization, new trends and ideas are emerging day by day to facilitate humankind in its efforts to excel itself. New theories are making their way into people’s way of life and with the advent of new technologies the simple ways of working are taking a new turn. One such example is the Virtual system of working that has emerged into view in recent years. Nowadays, the business has taken a global view rather than the local view with big organizations having their operations in all major cities of different countries. To facilitate such working, new technologies and communication systems are used for communication and coordination of business around the globe. In the above scenario, the theory of virtual leadership has grown quite popular and seems to be the solution for this era. But it also raises a few key questions in peoples mind. Because good and sound leadership is the lifeblood of any organization any compromise made in the leadership will result in a shattered business. Keeping this in mind, would the conceptual virtual leader be able to manage the business as effectively and produce same results as a local leader working in close proximity with his subordinates and if so then to what extent can the virtual leader follow in the footsteps of local leader. Moreover, will the subordinates be able to adapt to a virtual system of working. Will they be able to coordinate tasks and work under a virtual leader as effectively giving the same output as they did with a leader whom they see everyday working along with them during the office hours?
II. Statement of the Problem:
My plan is to do a quantitative study with the Statement of The Problem being: “It is not known how and to what degree virtual leaders are perceived by staff”.
III. Purpose of Study:
Globalization of business is a concept that is growing popular day by day. Instead of getting people into offices working from home approach is employed where the employee gets his work done from the comforts of his home. This is done in effort to hire cheap employees and to save the cost of commuting. Collaboration of working between leader and employee when working at disperse location is through the means of sound communication systems. But thorough understanding among the leader and his employees is a key factor in providing quality output.
The purpose of this study is to analyze if such a system of working is possible to the satisfaction of all parties namely, the virtual leader and the employees, and if possible to what extent can this working relationship be reliable in producing quality output and maintaining the company’s quality standards and reputation.
The key concepts that we wish to study and analyze in this report are as follows:
To find out the extent to which the concept of virtual leader is acceptable to the working staff of the organization.
To find out the extent to which a virtual leader can successfully lead his employees from a remote location.
To explore the role of reliable and effective communication in an organization having a virtual leader.
To find out the extent of job satisfaction achieved by the leader and employees working in a virtual environment and the outcome of the tasks retain the quality required to maintain the company’s quality standards.
Specific method used:
A survey method is used to gather information from a targeted sample among the professionals working in a virtual leader based environment. The sample would contain both men and women of different age groups and working at different hierarchical level at the organization. The information will come from the interviews conducted with these individuals to gain an insight into the work experience and their personal opinions regarding virtual leadership along with suggestions to improve the virtual leader and staff members’ relationship.
Unit of analysis:
These individuals would also be requested to fill out a questionnaire containing carefully designed question to bring out the view and problems that staff members may experience in a virtual leadership environment. The information in the questionnaire will be used for further analysis and for deducing the validity of the proposed hypothesis.
IV. Review of literature:
With the growing competition and market evolution, organizations cannot limit their business to a single place. This idea has given the concept of globalization rather than localization of business. In today’s global economy, leader can no longer afford to think about the business arena from a local perspective anymore, they must think about operating from a global perspective.
Leadership in Virtual Teams
Although market competition has brought forward the concept of virtual system of working where workers are employed over a number of places for managing cost or simply to employ the best employee for the job, but managing such a virtual system of working requires some additional qualities in the virtual leader.
Apart from the usual qualities that a localized leader possess virtual leader must display the following additional qualities to make his organization successful and to keep together the team he has assembled.
Good Administration: It is already a trait that is a must for any good leader of a successful organization but for a virtual leadership it has to go beyond the normal levels to produce quality work and keep the team together. A Virtual leader who himself does not know what is going on in his company cannot make anyone else work for him. He should be aware of his strength and weakness and should know when to take a timely decision.
Planning and organization: All work to be done must be planned to the last detail in the virtual leaders mind. Thinking ahead of the consequences that a certain decision may arise goes a long way to success. Good leader should plan ahead and also access risk factors involved with each business decisions. Once the decision is reached then you should go ahead with full confidence.
Communication: Communication is a must, even in a local setting communication is important but in a global setting communication surpasses anything else as it is the lifeblood of the organization. No worker should feel a gap between his leader otherwise it will bring a hitch in his work.
Active Worker: He must participate in all activities going on and give the impression to his workers that he is present with them at all time. Gain continuous knowledge to better understand the working problems that the staff are facing and make sure they know their virtual leader is right behind them all the time with support and work involvement.
Responsibility: With added work comes added responsibility. Managing a team that is spread around the world requires the virtual leader to take charge at all times and manage things with responsibility.
Trust your employees: Organization cannot be run by a person alone. You have to work together as a team and this teamwork depends on trust and bonding with each other. This trust relation is easy to achieve in a local system. In a virtual system the virtual leader has to go beyond the simple level to gain trust of their staff and motivate them to produce quality work.