1486Call for papers: Distributed Leadership & Online Communities
- May 29, 2008CALL FOR PAPERS: Distributed Leadership & Online Communities
Submission Deadline for a 2-page proposal or manuscript: July 31, 2008
Special issue of Human Technology: An Interdisciplinary Journal
on Humans in ICT Environments:
Niki Lambropoulos & Dr. Leslie Gadman
London South Bank University, London, UK
Overall Objectives of the Special Issue
The main objective of this special issue is to bring together
contributions on the topic of Distributed Leadership and Online
Communities. The key objective is to look into the importance of
online communities in participatory decision making in companies and
organisational and governmental institutions. This special issue also
will focus on real life case studies where such evaluations have been
applied and validated. We hope the special issue not only will report
first experiences and debates, but also go beyond the current state of
the art by looking at future prospects and emerging applications.
Distributed Leadership and Online Communities
Leadership refers to top down, bottom up, and distributed management.
Top down is the traditional model of centralising control, and bottom
up is referring to transformational leadership. In this latter scheme,
the empathic leader plays the role of the instrument between
him/herself and the community to which s/he belongs. Distributed
leadership builds upon participants' contributions in participatory
decision making. Despite the fact that the capacity for leadership is
both individual and collective (Ancona & Bresman, 2007; Senge, 1996),
at the moment, managemental methodologies and techniques for both top
down and bottom up approaches exist, but not for distributed
Distributed leadership (Woods, 2004) has been related to participatory
decision making and participatory democracy. To Ghosh (2002), it is a
matter of a more purposeful resolve to build "multi-dimensional trust"
within an organisation. This concept is further enhanced by the myriad
ICTs and online technologies available today. Examples of applied
participatory management come from media and computer companies, as
well as governmental, educational , and governmental organisations.
For example, some program producers encourage viewers to vote on the
plot and decide on the actual end to a film, series, or protagonists.
Customers for some companies can make suggestions and vote on their
ideas for products. Students' online communities in universities make
suggestions to enhance policy-making decisions. The EU has made
several attempts to involve the citizens in decision making by
providing online discussion forums and tools to facilitate this
process. (See, for example, the Interactive Policy-making
Tool—http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/ipm%e2%80%93which aims to improve governance by
using the Internet to collect and analyse reactions of citizens and
enterprises, evaluate existing EU policies, and facilitate open
consultations on new initiatives.) However, the organisational
structures to support the non-hierarchical nature of power and
authority structures are not widely studied. Furthermore, there are
few studies considering the incorporation of information systems into
a business perspective for building direct ties and relationships that
benefit from improved communication with customers or reform public
As such, this special issue will be of great use to those who study,
design, construct, moderate, evaluate and maintain distributed
leadership techniques in organizations, e-learning, eBusiness,
e-government and other related domains.
Ancona, D., & Bresman, H. (2007). X-teams: How to build teams that
lead, innovate and succeed. City, State, USA: Harvard Business School
Ghosh, P. S. (2002). Committing to re-Build trust as a "true servant"
of a fractured civilization: Towards a more enlightened leadership.
Leadership Speeches and Presentations, 2008, IAP Leadership Session.
Retrieved April 15, 2008, from
Senge, P. (1996). Leading learning organizations: The bold, the
powerful, and the invisible. Retrieved May 21, 2008, from
Woods, P. A. (2004). Democratic leadership: Drawing distinctions with
distributed leadership. International Journal of Leadership in
Education, 7(1), 3–26.
Recommended topics include but are not limited to the following
• Introduction: Leadership before and after the turn of the century,
• Distributed leadership: Theories on management and engagement;
organisational strategy and the role of senior management; the role of
communication; vision and organisational goals; research on measuring
levels of engagement
• Online communities: The use of online networks for decision making.
• Analysis: multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches as in
query-based techniques (interviews, focus groups, surveys; content and
discourse analysis); the use of ethnographic methodologies and
• Design: Conceptual and detailed design; ontologies; design to
enhance ideas sharing and co-creativity; participatory design;
prototyping (paper/electronic); screen design; leadership
architecture; design of distributed leadership schemes and features;
other innovative design approaches.
• Evaluation: Tools and evaluation techniques; multidisciplinary
evaluation; frameworks to apply results into practice.
• Applicability of distributed leadership in online communities
• Case studies
• Future trends
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a manuscript or a
2-page manuscript proposal no later than July 31, 2008. All will be
notified by August 31, 2008 about the status of their proposals. Full
rough drafts are expected to be submitted by November 30, 2008 and
will be reviewed on a blind review basis.
Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) to:
Researcher, Online Community Architect & Business Analyst
PhD student at the
Centre for Interactive Systems Engineering
London South Bank University
Dr. Leslie Gadman
Senior Lecturer in Business Strategy and Organizational Behaviour
London South Bank University