Is it better for a team to have one strong leader or multiple leaders who work together? Hill’s Model of Team Leadership doesn’t specify an individual leader or leaders in terms of team effectiveness (Northouse, 2013). As long as the leaders are working together and not contradicting each other it shouldn’t effect team effectiveness negatively.
Shared leadership is defined as “an emergent team property that results from the distribution of leadership influence across multiple team members. It represents a condition of mutual influence embedded in the interactions among team members that can significantly improve team and organizational performance” (Hoch, 2010). In today’s business culture of globalization, change, uncertainty and the need for teams that can handle increasingly more complex tasks, shared leadership is being looked at a better solution then traditional single leader formats used in the past. Shared leadership consists of constructing a more comprehensive idea of leadership that goes beyond a singular appointed leader (Lindsay, 2011). Shared leadership creates a more interactive work environment between team members as they work towards the goals of both the team and the organization. “Shared leadership differs from collective decisions, as it also includes the later phases following the decision processes, such as initiating action, taking responsibility for action and responsibility for outcomes, etc. Shared leadership refers to a collective social influence process shared by team members and aimed toward the achievement of one or more common goals” (Hoch, 2011).
In this day and age of multinational companies and telecommuting I think that we will see more and more companies moving towards a shared leadership approach to teams. Since many teams can now consist of members who are not just separated by an office floor, but an ocean, a single leader doesn’t seem effective. As I stated above, as long as the leaders have the same goals and have a mutual understanding of how the team should be run, I don’t think it would affect team effectiveness.
Hoch, J. E., Pearce, C. L., & Welzel, L. (2010). Is the most effective team leadership shared? the impact of shared leadership, age diversity, and coordination on team performance. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 9(3), 105-116.
Lindsay, D. R., Day, D. V., & Halpin, S. M. (2011). Shared leadership in the military: Reality, possibility, or pipedream? Military Psychology, 23(5), 528-549.
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.