Leading Networks Effectively: Literature Review and Propositions

Madelon E.D. Wind, Esther Klaster*, Celeste P.M. Wilderom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


A literature review is presented on the modes of effective network leadership within and between organizations. In total, 163 published studies, both empirical and conceptual, were parsed with regard to definitions, contexts, antecedents, and outcomes, leading to four propositions. A continuum of network leadership concepts, including shared and distributed leadership, is projected on two axes: one for the (individual actor and collective level) antecedents and one for the (type of desired) outcomes of network leadership. The new two-by-two model distinguishes four distinct network leadership roles: connecting, coaching, catalyzing, and consulting. The 4C network leadership model offers a set of practical roles and associated behavioral styles in different situations. Context-moderated propositions conclude the review, to guide future empirical research on effective interorganizational and intraorganizational network leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-44
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Leadership Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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