Bell, B., McAlpine, K., N. S. Hill. (2023). Leading Virtually. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 10, 339-362.

The growth in virtual work is reshaping how leaders interface with their followers: Face-to-face interactions are increasingly being supplanted by virtual exchanges. To advance understanding of the implications of leading in this changing environment, we apply functional leadership theory to synthesize the findings of the virtual leadership research that has been conducted across different leadership perspectives and levels of analysis. We identify four traditional leadership functions that empirical research suggests have a stronger effect on follower need satisfaction in virtual settings and highlight a new function—facilitate the use of technology—as particularly germane to virtual leadership. Our review reveals several promising future research directions, including the need to examine the effects of leadership along the full spectrum of virtuality and to consider the unique challenges that leaders may encounter in hybrid work environments. We also outline important practical implications for organizations, leaders, and their followers.