Research Handbook of Global Leadership
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Research Handbook of Global Leadership

Making a Difference

Edited by Lena Zander

The Research Handbook of Global Leadership is an exciting new Handbook that brings together an international, prominent group of scholars to take a fresh look at global leadership, and query why and how global leaders can make a difference in our world both today and in the future.
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Chapter 8: Making a difference in the digital age: global leadership and multiteam systems

Jeffrey L. Herman, Tracy C. McCausland and Daniel Bliton


The Digital Age is one of unprecedented connectivity and sophistication of work. Interdependence and constant change make organizational structures of the past irrelevant or counterproductive. We see the rise of multiteam systems – networks of interdependent teams – as an increasingly necessary way of organizing in the Digital Age. The challenges facing multiteam systems are more complex when combined with the cultural realities of our connected world. Using a network perspective, this chapter explores the future direction of research in this area and describes a practical approach to learning. The exploration of future directions addresses current gaps with ways to unite the strengths of different streams of research. The practical approach presents the Dynamics Interaction Media Richness Accessible Content/Context model, a decision aid for instructional designers working in blended or fully virtual training programs. Together, these two contributions seek to push past outdated assumptions about how we lead and how we learn to do so. In this age of digital connectivity, these contributions are relevant for scholars, educators and professionals in fields ranging from software development to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. As we face more global interconnectedness in business, government and not-for-profit organizations, stronger foundations for research and practice on global multiteam systems are central to making a difference in the Digital Age.

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