Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Prior research has shown that distributed leadership successfully facilitates and manages team performance in complex environments. This study primarily focuses on historical extreme environment teams to find a dynamic relationship between leaders and followers through theoretical lenses of shared and distributed leadership using a historiometric approach. As NASA continues to push the edge of space exploration, the level of autonomy within the team traveling into space is expected to increase due to increased distance from earth and also delay of communication. From this lack of home base communication with earth leadership is extremely important for the teams to address the temporal dynamics of diversity and other stressors that can occur while on missions. Traditional leadership speaks for having one key leader and a group of followers, however recent views of leadership in complex settings argue for a distributed balance of leadership within the team. This has been found to be especially important when the team's tasks are centered on knowledge-based work; members of the team typically have high levels of expertise and naturally seek autonomy when deciding how to apply their knowledge and skills. Vertical Leadership however sets the conditions and allows for an environment that will be acceptable of shared/distributed leadership. It has been argued that team leadership creates the enabling conditions for effective team performance by creating and maintaining the shared behavior effect and cognition that facilitate explicit/implicit coordination, adaptation, and team self-regulation. This study is designed to begin close analysis in efforts to close the gap of how leadership may be manifested within long duration, distance exploration missions. The following questions are raised throughout our study: 1. What leadership processes emerge in highly autonomous teams? 2. Do hierarchical or shared leadership behaviors seem more prominent in long duration teams?


Poster presentation at Clemson University 10th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Forum, Clemson, SC.