Synthesize the Scholarly Literature
BTM 7300, Assignment 6
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Antoinette Kohlman
30 April 2017
Resubmitted: 9 May 2017
Synthesize the Scholarly Literature
As a Ph.D. student studying and researching the topic of technological challenges the twenty-first century leader will face, I have been reviewing the literature on this topic for several weeks. In this paper I will discuss specific research themes based on my analysis and synthesis of a small sample size of thirteen study articles on the aforementioned subject. Throughout this paper, I will provide details regarding the connections or relationship uncovered in the analysis of these thirteen articles. This synthesis of information will include patterns or trends such as notable similarities, differences, gaps, contradictions, and limitations using research based themes as headings.
Twelve out of the thirteen articles employed a theoretical framework. In these articles, the author(s) present the theory which attempts to explain why the problem under examination is being presented. The one remaining article employed a conceptual framework in its research (Lilian, 2014). Within a conceptual framework, the author seeks to organize ideas in such a way that makes conceptual distinctions. Interestingly enough, there were no consistent theoretical frameworks across these thirteen articles. A variety of theoretical frameworks were used including motivating language theory (Sarros, 2014), adaptive structure theory (Avolio, 2013), content analysis (Savolainen, 2014), grounded research theory (Chua, 2017), and the phenomenological approach (Sharma, 2015). However, no singular framework was employed across multiple sources.
However, in their research, the most common type of framework employed was a quantitative methodology approach as opposed to a qualitative methodology approach. Ten of the thirteen articles employed a quantitative approach while three employed a qualitative approach (Brooks, 2010; Sharma, 2015; Kiesenbauer, 2015). In most cases, the authors researched and cited in this paper were not seeking to necessarily answer a question of why something was true or false, but rather questions of where, when, how, and how much of something was taking place. Much of the cited research based the conclusions upon such quantitative questions and analysis.
Very few of the authors used a qualitative methodological approach in their research. In the case of two of the three authors that employed this technique, their questions were related to issues of morality and ethics (Brooks, 2010; Sharma, 2015). In their qualitative approach, they were not seeking merely to find numerical patterns or statistical similarities, but they were rather seeking deeper answers to questions of human psychology.
As previously mentioned, most of the authors researched and cited employed a quantitative methodological approach. Data was collected by a variety of data collection instruments, and the collected data was summarized and analyzed. The results of the data form the basis of their conclusions. The vast majority of authors used this method, indicating that most research conducted on this topic deals with questions of quantitative rather than qualitative methodology.
Data Collection Instrument
The form of data collection was also quite varied in the synthesis of these articles. The most common form of data collection was face-to-face interviews conducted by the authors and/or their research team (Cheong, 2010; El-Khouly, 2014; Kiesenbauer, 2015). One example of a face-to-face interview question employed in this data collection methodology was, “How does higher education prepare students to ethically use and manage information technology?” (Brooks, 2010). This question was asked in the process of investigating the issue of ethics and information technology and is a positive example of this type of data collection instrument being employed within a theoretical framework. However, even though this was the most common form of data collection, it was far from being a majority.
Other common forms of data collection employed in this research were the survey method (Sarros, 2014; Brooks, 2010), the method of sending out questionnaires (Verma, 2016), and also the method of simple data collection and synthesis from previous and current research (Avolio, 2013).
The study participants were also quite varied depending on the topic being researched. The most frequent study participants were business leaders and managers across the globe (El-Khouly, 2014). Most of these studies sought to engage both men and women, with the majority of cases being male business leaders (Sarros, 2014). Other examples of study participants included students (Cheong, 2016; Brooks, 2010), IT professionals (Verma, 2016), and employees (Kiesenbauer, 2015). Each of these categories of participants – IT professionals, and employees – were employed in two separate studies.
Every study adequately described the scope of its participants including age, gender, profession, as well as how many in each group were participating. A few of the studies included less than one-hundred participants (El-Khouly, 2014; Brooks, 2010; Mackenzie, 2010), while most included several hundred participants. Two studies included more than one thousand participants (Cheong, 2016; Sarros, 2014), but this was the statistical outlier in this category.
Similarities or patterns across all articles’ findings existed when the research was centered around similar topics. For example, multiple studies found that different age groups view e-leadership differently (Patchanee, 2011; Mackenzie, 2010). In these studies, it was concluded that older generations see their e-leadership as being effective and well received, while the Millennial generation does not.
Several studies also concluded simply that more research needs to be conducted on the topic of e-leadership in the workplace (Patchanee, 2011). Multiple studies centered on the impact of technology on workplace communication (Patchanee, 2011; Mackenzie, 2010), and the results of a couple of these studies were simply that results were inconclusive and further research needs to be conducted (Savolainen, 2014).
In a majority of cases, the impact of the study was limited to those who actually participated in the study. Several studies had limitations due to the type of industry being researched (Cheong, 2016), and a couple of studies had limitations based on the demographic being surveyed (students, employees, managers, etc.) (Brooks, 2010). In most cases, these limitations were clearly stated during the course of the research. Two studies were also limited based on geography as one was only researching Australian businesses (Sarros, 2014) and the other was only studying European businesses and business leaders (Kiesenbauer, 2015).
Conclusion: Final Synthesis
The most fascinating and common theme throughout this synthesis was the common factor of more research needing to be conducted. The issue of technology is well researched, but the specific issue of e-leadership seems to be a relatively new field of study as the literature is far more limited.
Also noteworthy was that the vast majority of research was a quantitative as opposed to a qualitative study of the topic. In this sense, the research is collecting data without addressing the more important question of the underlying of causes of behavior, attitude, or psychology showing up in the data.
In both of these areas, it provides me with a confidence that research is still to be done in the field of e-leadership and the technological challenges faced by the twenty-first century leader. As this study and research continues to develop, it is my hope to add to this field with a unique contribution of my own.
Avolio, B., Sosik, J., Kahai, S., Baker, B. (2013). "E-leadership: Re-examining transformations in leadership source and transmission". The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 105-131. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Brooks, R. (2010). 'The Development Of A Code Of Ethics: An online classroom approach to making connections between ethical foundations and the challenges presented by Information Technology'. American Journal of Business Education, 3(10), 1-13. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Cheong, P., Shuter, R., Suwinyattichaiporn, T. (2016). 'Managing student digital distractions and hyperconnectivity: Communication strategies and challenges for professorial authority' Communication Education, 65(3), 272-289. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Chua, Y.P., & Chua, Y.P. (2017). How are e-leadership practices in implementing a school virtual learning environment enhanced? Computers & Education, 109, 109 –121. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
El Khouly, S., Ossman, M., Selim, M., & Zaghloul, M. (2014). Impact of E- Leadership on Leadership Styles within the Egyptian Government Sector. Competitive Forum, 12 (1), 131 –140. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
Kiesenbauer, J. & Zerfass, A. (2015). 'Today's and tomorrow's challenges in public relations: Comparing the views of chief communication officers and next generation leaders'. Public Relations Review, 41(4), 422-434. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Lilian, S.C. (2014). 'Virtual teams: opportunities and challenges for e-leaders'. Contemporary Issues in Business, Management and Education, 110, 1251 - 1261. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
Mackenzie, M.L. (2010). 'Manager communication and workplace trust: Understanding manager and employee perceptions in the e-world'. International Journal of Information Management, 30, 529-541. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
Patchanee, M. & Servaes, J. (2011). 'The media use of American youngsters in the age of narcissism: Surviving in a 24/7 media shock and awe – distracted by everything'. Telematics and Informatics, 28, 66-76. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
Sarros, J. C., Luca, E., Densten, I., & Santora, J. (2014). Leaders and their use of motivating language. Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 35(3), 226-240. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Savolainen, T. (2014). Trust-Building in e-Leadership: A Case Study of Leaders' Challenges and Skills in Technology-Mediated Interaction. Journal of Global Business Issues, 8(2), 45-56. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Sharma, S., Lomash, H., & Bawa, S. (2015) 'Who regulates ethics in the virtual world?'. Science And Engineering Ethics, 21(1), 19-28. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
Verma, P., Mohapatra, S., & Lowstedt, J. (2016) 'Ethics Training in the Indian IT Sector: Formal, Informal, or Both?' Journal of Business Ethics, 123(1), 73-93. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
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