The Social and Behavioral Sciences programs are designed for people with a passion for making a difference in the lives of others.
Whether you are on your way up the corporate ladder or just getting started, our business degree programs and certificates could help you prepare to take your business career to a higher level.
Whether you want to enter the field of criminal justice or need credentials to advance your career, Kaplan University's criminal justice degree programs are designed to help you achieve your goal.
Our degree programs and certificates could help prepare you to teach diverse learners a broad range of academic content and educational foundations.
Our comprehensive fire science programs offer the flexibility of online learning, ideal for individuals in the fire science and emergency management fields who may work inconsistent hours.
You could acquire real-world knowledge and practical skills and prepare for a career in the health care industry by earning a health sciences degree, diploma, or certificate.
Our programs in legal studies, paralegal studies, and environmental policy are designed to fit your educational goals.
Our nursing degree and certificate programs are taught by practicing professionals who are dedicated to helping you prepare for real-world challenges in nursing.
Kaplan University's IT programs are designed to prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to start or advance your technology career.
Kaplan University offers over 180 degree and certificate programs all available to military, veterans, and spouses of active duty members. In addition, several programs have been developed to complement specific military occupations or programs established by the military.
The Kaplan University School of General Education courses support the academic, social, personal, and professional development of learners throughout their engagement with the University.
Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) offers individualized, affordable education that integrates technology and personalized service to help learners meet their career, academic, and personal goals.
Offering the flexibility of online education and support for military students.
Every day, talented individuals are proving it's never too late to think about the future.
Learn more about becoming an international student at US-based and accredited Kaplan University.
Learn about transferring your previously earned college credits to Kaplan University.
We have partnered with many employers and educational institutions to provide their employees and students with education opportunities.
Corporate and Academic Partners
Kaplan University is dedicated to the support, engagement, and involvement of our graduates.
Resources for current Kaplan University students.
We have 15 ground locations across the country. Explore our locations to see if we're in your neighborhood.
Learning Center Experience
By Dr. Joel D. Olson, Kaplan University FacultyPublished December 2015
At the turn of the twentieth century, Thomas Edison
suggested that people do not know what to do with the technology they create (1).
Edison proved his own point in 1922 when he predicted that motion pictures
would replace school textbooks (2). Such is the challenge of our time.
innovations out strip our ability to make good use of it. E-Leadership is about
managing technology and using it to lead, instead of the other way around.
The word “virtual” has been used with increasing frequency.
It is commonly used to describe something that is not actual or factual,
instead it is similar or “almost like” something. When applied to teams, a
common understanding of “virtual” would lead to the assumption that virtual
teams are not actual teams, actual teams are face-to-face, and anything else is
not real. However, virtual teams are real teams. Like face-to-face teams,
virtual teams are groups of people interacting interdependently towards a
common purpose. Face-to-face teams are bounded by time and space. Virtual teams
use technology to cross boundaries.
According to a Society for Human Resource Management survey
conducted in 2012, almost 50% of American organizations use virtual teams, with
66% of multinational organizations using virtual teams (3). In 2012, Siemens
conducted a study with 320 employees from 9 countries; 79% reported that they
always, or frequently, work with virtual teams. However, only 44% find them to
be as productive as face-to-face teamwork, 40% feel overwhelmed by the
technology, 50% report insufficient trust levels, and 34% report remote team
members “loafing” or not contributing their share (4). While this is a complex
issue, part of the problem is the assumption that leadership is the same for
face-to-face (traditional) and virtual teams.
The Internet requires a new leadership paradigm, one that
integrates leadership with technology. This includes relearning and modifying
prior leadership approaches. This new leadership paradigm must understand
leadership in electronic virtual environments, where leaders act more like
coaches than bosses and use influence instead of coercion.
Avolio et al. (5) coined the term e-leadership to describe
leadership in contexts where technology mediated processes were associated with
individual leadership. E-leadership is a basic change in the way followers and
leaders work together on teams. (6). Avolio et al. (5) defined e-leadership “as
a social process mediated by advanced information technology to produce a
change in attitudes, feelings, thinking, behavior, and performance with
individuals, groups and/or organizations” (page 617). Technology becomes the means
“Virtual teams and networks demand more leadership, not
less” (7). The geographic dispersion and asynchronous communication coupled
with the lack of fact-to-face communication makes it more challenging for
leaders to lead teams. The very nature of virtual teams works against leaders,
requiring e-leaders to invest more time and effort than traditional leaders.
So what is different about e-leadership and traditional
leadership? The leadership functions are the same, the difference is that one
is mediated face-to-face and the other through technology. It is the mediation
that is different. Unlike traditional face-to-face leaders limited to one
communication channel, e-leaders have multiple channels with varying degrees of
communication richness. E-leaders need to learn to translate face-to-face
messages through appropriate varied technology.
For example, teams are teams. Early on teams need to address
communication, norms, cohesion, performance, expectations, relationships, goals,
and delegation. The needs of teams do not change, it is the environments that
change and determine how to best address these team needs. Whether face-to-face
or virtual, the needs of a team are constant. The way they are addressed is
not. The ways these needs are addressed virtually are identified as
When a team is created, it begins as a collection of
individuals. The leader is expected to produce a coherent and integrated work
unit. This involves the following characteristics of team excellence (8):
Without face-to-face meetings, e-leaders are left with a mix
of technology replacements to accomplish these eight characteristics.
An important feature of e-leadership is knowing how to enact
presence through technology. An e-leader may need to compensate for low
physical presence with increased efforts to build relationships via technology.
There is no “one size fits all” with communication
technology, no single ideal combination of technologies for every virtual team.
Communication can be asynchronous, or synchronous, or both. Available
technologies involve email, chat rooms, social media, wikis, video conferences,
webinars, calendaring and scheduling systems, discussion boards, shared drives,
shared screens, group decision support systems, groupware, web sites, voice
over IP, file and application sharing, telephone, and fax. The list keeps
E-leaders require more than just communication technology—they
know how to use it. The effective e-leader pairs the technology that is best
for the team, task, and circumstance. Critical pairing variables include (9):
There has been some discussion related to which leadership
style works best with virtual teams: behavioral, contingency, situational,
leader-member exchange, transformation….and more (10). Given the diminished
leader presence with virtual teams, traditional leader-centric styles are not
as effective as leadership approaches characterized by the distribution and
delegation of leadership, empowerment and transformation (11). Hierarchical
leadership approaches will not be as effective on virtual teams.
Individuals are often thrust into leading virtual teams with
little training or support. They assume that leadership is leadership; however,
leadership is always about context. Organizations that invest in the long-term
success of virtual teams with an investment in e-leadership could be prepared see
1. Avolio, B. J., Soski, J. J., Kahai, S. S.
&Maker, B. (2014). E-Leadership: Re-examining transformations in leadership
source and transmission, The Leadership
Quarterly, 25, 105-131.
L. (2004). The human touch. Education
Next, 4(4), 10-14.
3. Retrieved November 3, 2015, http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/orgempdev/articles/pages/virtualteamsusedmostbyglobalorganizations,surveysays.aspx
4. Retrieved November 3, 2015, http://resources.idgenterprise.com/original/AST-0087742_The_Untapped_Potential_of_Virtual_Teams.pdf
B. J., Kahai, S. S. & Dodge, G. E. (2001). E-leadership: Implications for
theory, research, and practice. The
Leadership Quarterly, 11(4), 615-668.
B. J. & Kahai, S. S. (2002change). Adding the “E” to E-leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 3(4), page 15.
J. & Stamps, J. (1997). Virtual teams: The new way to work. Strategy & Leadership, 27(1), p.
F. M. J. & Larson, C. E. (2001). When teams work best: 6,000 team members
and leaders tell what it takes to succeed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
J. S. (2008). Successful communication in virtual teams and the role of the
virtual team leader, In P. Zemliansky (Ed.). Handbook of research on virtual
workplaces and the new nature of business practices. Idea Group.
10. Davis, D. D. & Bryant, J. L. (2003).
Influence at a distance: Leadership in global virtual teams, Advances in Global Leadership, 3(1),
11. Zigurs, I. (2003). Leadership in virtual teams:
Oxymoron or opportunity? Organizational
Dynamics, 31(4), 399-351.
Dr. Olson is a faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
KU Facebook Page
KU Twitter Page
KU YouTube Channel
KU Google+ Page
KU LinkedIn Page
KU Pinterest Page
KU Instagram Page
Registered User Login
Student Consumer Information
LEARNING AT KAPLAN UNIVERSITY