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Chapter II. Leadership in E-Business > Innovative Leadership for E-Business

Innovative Leadership for E-Business

The e-business revolution is changing the face of today’s and tomorrow’s organisations. One of the most critical challenges emerging in the e-business domain is the issue of leadership. The transformation to an information economy necessitates new ways of working, and hence, new ways of leading. Innovative leadership strategies are required in the B2C domain most importantly if organisations are to succeed in an increasingly dynamic and volatile e-business environment (Keen, 1999).

Such visionary leadership is often identified as a salient characteristic of successful e-business (Roots, 2000). But what does visionary leadership mean in the e-business domain? Keen (1999) suggests that innovation in IT requires a middle-driven leadership approach, rather than a top-down approach that was common in the past. It is at the middle level of management where the real strategists and visionaries are found, since business is a process game and it is the people in the middle who understand the process (Keen, 1999: 1). Reliance on a middle-driven leadership approach will mean tangible changes in the workplace: there will be more non-technical leaders and colleagues who have greater knowledge of business processes where collaboration is the currency of innovation and diversity its enabler (Keen, 1999). A new style of middle-driven leadership will establish a sustainable competitive advantage for organisations (Keen, 1999).


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