Castellano and her colleagues studied how leadership styles influence performance in R&D dispersed teams. The findings show that performance of such complex teams is enhanced when the right leadership is in place. Besides a very interesting theoretical discussion of their results, the authors provide some managerial implications for practitioners. This post will be focused on this practical advice, would I strongly recommend anyone interested to have a look at the full article.
The authors list three implications for organizations that aim to implement changes in the organization of dispersed R&D teams, or more globally, teams leading with complex projects.
💡Article pick: How Does Leadership Impact Team Performance?
👉 First, the findings suggest that the leadership style that yields better performance of the teams is Shared-Leadership. This leadership style involves the distribution of the influence of leadership across different individuals. From an HR perspective, organizations should create the necessary conditions to implement and foster shared leadership skills (participation, collaboration, and delegation) among managers involved in virtual teams.
👉 Secondly, the authors highlight the importance of trust. Particularly in dispersed teams, trust helps create a much needed collective identity. As such, individual goals can be aligned with a team’s shared vision, promoting the right mindset and bringing greater results for a virtual environment.
👉 Thirdly, firms need to consider that virtual teams can be very different, changing in size, duration of the project, roles of the members, etc. Thus, the risks associated with such teams will also change. Regardless of the challenges, the findings show that commitment of the team members is necessary as it reinforces identification, involvement, and loyalty towards the team.