Running Head: Leadership leadership

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The discipline of team leadership appears poised for major advances, both in terms of science and practice. This introduction to the special issue on leadership in team-based organizations identifies some of the major challenges and opportunities regarding future advances of team leadership. They include more fully addressing multilevel issues; cross-level effects; design, methods and measurement issues; studying team leadership in context; and the possibility of hybrid leadership forms in teams. The special issue articles are then briefly discussed organized around collective, relational, and individual team leader levels of analyses.

Team leadership as a discipline appears to be on the cusp of some truly significant breakthroughs. Driving these prospective advances are contributions in the literature on teams and leadership, respectively. Although each of these fields have taken great strides forward in recent years there has been relatively little attention to how these changes might affect the integrated concept of team leadership. This is one important reason why we sought to edit a special issue on the topic of team leadership and the role of leadership in team-based organizations.

In terms of advances within the teams literature, the popular input-process-output (I-P-O) framework is gradually giving way to more complex (and realistic) frameworks. There has been greater emphasis placed on the role of time in team processes, and in particular trying to understand the different kinds of performance episodes that teams experience (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001). Others have begun to address the importance of outputs serving as inputs in subsequent input-mediator-output-input (IMOI) team episodes (Ilgen et al., 2005 D.R. Ilgen, J.R. Hollenbeck, M. Johnson and J. Jundt, Teams in organizations: From I-P-O models to IMOI models, Annual Review of Psychology 56 (2005), pp. 517-543. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (126)Ilgen, Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt, 2005). Yet another trend has been in examining how forming collective identities in teams might enhance both team processes as well as team outcomes (e.g., Van der Vegt & Bunderson, 2005).

1. Challenges and opportunities for the future of team leadership

What might be seen as a particular challenge to the field of team leadership in many cases might also be construed as an opportunity. Consider these perhaps as two sides of the same coin. Where relevant we will point out how the issue can be both a challenge and an opportunity, beginning first with some additional levels-of-analysis issues.

1.1. Multilevel issues

Much more needs to be done conceptually as well as empirically in sorting out important issues of construct isomorphism and discontinuity (Kozlowski & Klein, 2000). Although sorting out these multilevel construct issues will not be easy, there is the opportunity to better understand issues associated with how team-level leadership can transcend but not completely replace the contributions of individual leaders in building overall capacity for leadership (Day et al., 2004).

1.2. Cross-level effects

Most of the research attention has been given to how formal leaders can affect teams, which could be considered a type of “top-down” effect. The previously noted example of functional team leadership ...
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