Leading Teams: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives

Marissa L. Shuffler, C. Shawn Burke, William S. Kramer and Eduardo Salas

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Leading Teams: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives


This chapter investigates the past, present, and future perspectives on leading teams. The three “traditional” approaches are addressed: transformational leadership, leader member exchange, and the functional approach. In addition, the chapter reports emerging areas of research in team leadership, including shared leadership, multiteam system leadership, and understanding team leadership in contexts such as multicultural, virtual, and extreme environments. The primary defining characteristic of team leadership is the emphasis at the collective level in terms of enhancing process and performance. Although transformational leadership is a prominent theory in the general leadership-research domain, its specific effect on team-level outcomes still requires much work. Shared leadership is an emerging area of interest in team leadership research that has much promise but many unanswered questions. Virtuality, culture, and extreme environments can influence how team leadership operates, and they are in need of additional research to fully understand their effects.

Keywords: leading teams; transformational leadership; leader member exchange; functional approach; team leadership; shared leadership; multiteam system leadership

Article.  16449 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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