Title: Leadership of shared spaces in online learning communities

Authors: Jill Jameson

Addresses: School of Education, University of Greenwich, Mansion House, Bexley Road, London, SE9 2PQ, UK

Abstract: Good leadership is important for the creation of effective online communities that foster trust and a positive collaborative ethos in the shared spaces of online learning communities. Leadership is amongst the most |researched| of social sciences subjects: thousands of leadership models, theories and practices exist, but there is a significant lack of literature, theory and empirical evidence on leadership in online environments. Despite the rapid expansion of global social networking and online learning, involving millions of daily interactions, little research exists on leadership of online learning communities as a variant of virtual environments. This article considers the existing literature on leadership of online learning communities and, in critically analysing the relative lack of research in this, proposes that collaborative leadership in both conceptual and technological systems design is appropriate to encourage creativity in the shared spaces of online learning communities, basing its theoretical reflections on several years of empirical work.

Keywords: online learning; web based communities; online communities; virtual communities; community leadership; online leadership; social networks; trust; learning environments; e-leadership; shared spaces online; distributed leadership; shared leadership; collaborative leadership.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2011.042991

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2011 Vol.7 No.4, pp.463 - 477

Published online: 11 Oct 2011 *

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