How leadership roles are distributed in a KMS project
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[German title: Wie Führungsrollen in einem WMS-Projekt verteilt werden]

Jing Zhang and Sue R Faerman
Distributed leadership in the development of a knowledge sharing system
European Journal of Information Systems (2007) 16, 479–493.

Abstract: This paper studies leadership dynamics in the development of a knowledge sharing system. We apply the concept of distributed leadership, examining how leadership roles are distributed across different individuals in the organisation during developing and implementing a knowledge sharing system. The results of a case study demonstrate that the leadership was fulfilled by the interdependent and emergent roles played by several individuals: the spearheading and coordinating roles of a knowledgeable and persistent project leader, the supporting and steering roles carried by a group of perceptive and collaboration-inclined executives, and the knowledge sharing and momentum driving roles performed by knowledge champions. Each of these leadership influences was indispensable. None of the leaders could have accomplished this task individually, without the active involvement of the other types of leaders. This research makes its contribution to the understanding of the emergence and dynamics of distributed leadership in the information system environment, and demonstrates the importance of a full awareness of distributed leadership as tasks are carried out in developing a knowledge sharing system.

Keywords: IS leadership, project leadership, distributed leadership, knowledge sharing

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Copyright © 2007 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.


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