The Bermuda Triangle of Leadership in the AI Era? Emerging Trust Implications From “Two-Leader-Situations” in the Eyes of Employees

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Schafheitle, Simon
Weibel , Antoinette
Rickert, Alice
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5473
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Abstract
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms are changing the work in many ways. One hitherto little-studied area is how these technologies are impacting leader-employee relationships, particularly employees’ trust relationships in their “flesh-and-blood” leaders. In this paper, we discuss how algorithms change the nature of leadership when some leadership functions become automated. As a consequence, employees will often find themselves in a “two-leader-situation” with resulting frictions, that create novel leadership focus areas. Three situations, in particular, can be trust-problematic in the eyes of followers: the triad relationship might (1) make responsibilities blur, (2) create conflicting decisions of human leaders and algorithms, and (3) make employees’ voice unheard. We argue that these situations can undermine employee perceptions of leaders' trustworthiness as followers might start to question a leaders’ ability, benevolence, and integrity if leaders do not understand these novel situations.
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Advances in Trust Research: Artificial Intelligence in Organizations, algorithms as leaders, automation of leadership, employee trust, responsibility diffusion, two-leader situations
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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