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Working at home - working alone: How e-leaders and teleworkers experience their relationship in a virtual environment

Böttcher, Kim (2021) Working at home - working alone: How e-leaders and teleworkers experience their relationship in a virtual environment.

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Abstract:While teleworking has many positive implications, it also raises concerns about professional isolation and its consequences. E-leaders need to be able to enact leadership in new ways to combat their employees feeling of professional isolation and build on a meaningful Leader-Member Exchange. The objective of this study is to identify the activities leaders engage in, how the role of leadership is changing and how employees experience the relationship with their leader. Through analysis, four relevant dimensions emerged: support vs. demand, proximity vs. distance, trust vs. control, and leader initiative vs. own initiative. Participants described support, proximity, and trust as important building stones of a meaningful relationship whereas being demanding distant, and controlling hampers the forming of a meaningful relationship. The way that teleworkers and e-leaders experience relationships at the workplace depend on many factors. Those with more meaningful relationships may continue to receive greater benefits which can further improve their relationship. However, building and maintain a meaningful relationship in an online context is not always easy and may call for the role of a leader to change towards a more people-oriented rather than task-oriented approach.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88017
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