Developing E-leadership skills in Digital Era
- Virtual leading or e-leadership became one of the business strategies for most of the companies around the world especially after World trade treaty in 1995. At that time different terminologies became very popular like offshoring, and outsourcing; for example many companies, and because of competition start offshoring business process from one country to another, such as manufacturing, or supporting processes, such as accounting. Also outsourcing technical and administrative services supporting domestic and global operations. By the time, the e-Leadership became part of the company strategies, and there was a need to establish a development plan that enhance this strategy to become close to traditional leadership models. E-Leadership as a central leadership competence in the sense of "working on the system / business model" is of particular importance in the "digital era", as the rapid technological change of digitization permeates all areas of life and forces companies to undertake comprehensive transformation processes. A strategic positioning of information technology (IT) as a business enabler and existence factor, which consistently penetrates all corporate divisions, is of central importance. Corporate cultural conflicts with the positioning of other organizational and functional units are inevitable. Traditional management methods are under scrutiny, and the challenges of the "digital society" will require leaders with new skills and fundamentally different corporate cultures. I remember the time when I was working with HP as a case manager for corporate account; I was managing group of onsite tech virtually. Zigurs (2003) suggested that “traditional leadership models built on a foundation of face-to-face interactions may not fully explain how virtual leadership and teams work. Specifically, how one provides feedback, encouragement, rewards, and motivation needs to be re-examined where leadership is mediated through technology. Zigurs (2003) suggests that the continuing development in technology such as increased bandwidth, wireless networks, integrated handheld devices, voice input, built-in video, video walls, and automatic translation will no doubt have a significant impact on how virtual teams communicate and how leadership is manifested in such teams.
Keywords - E-leadership, virtual work, virtual leading, outsourcing, e-mentoring, e-coaching.