Leadership and Mobile Working: The Impact of Distance on the Superior-Subordinate Relationship and the Moderating Effects of Leadership Style
Mobile work is a form of work organization that is gaining ground and affecting many organizations. Mobility increases distance in interpersonal relations. The distance that it generates has major consequences for organizations and for leadership dynamics. This article presents the results of a study that tested the impact of physical distance and psychological distance on the quality of the superior-subordinate relationship. It also aimed to assess the moderating effect of the supervisor’s level of transformational leadership. Statistical analyses were done on data gathered from 286 respondents at an international management and information technology consulting firm. These analyses indicate that physical distance and psychological distance have a negative impact on relational quality, while the supervisor’s level of transformational leadership moderates this relation by mitigating the negative effects. The implications of these results are discussed.
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