Leadership and Social Media or About Hubs and Connectors: Useful Information and Meanings in the Selection Process of Potential Leaders

  • Adela ComanEmail author
  • Ana-Maria Grigore
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10913)


Social media and social network sites (SNSs) in particular are a response to the ever-changing, increasingly connected world – a world that needs more and more learning and collaboration to solve complex problems. In this context, the role played by leaders in organizations also changes. Despite the many studies published about leaderships, too little is known about the way we can use social networks in discovering/identifying potential leaders. So far we have been able to classify networks (Borgatti and Foster 2003; Plastrik and Taylor 2006), to define leadership networks and to see how they work (Hoppe and Reinelt 2010), to discuss about the social influence of leaders on followers, as well as the active way in which the followers, in their turn, influence leaders, particularly their behavior (Burak and Bashshur 2013). Much has been discussed about the skills leaders need to have (Mumford et al. 2007) on various hierarchical levels within the organization, but there is still no study on how we could identify these leadership skills by using social network sites (SNSs).

Our research is qualitative. We aim to analyze the skills leaders need – cognitive, interpersonal, entrepreneurial and strategic skills – and the way these can be identified in social networking, mainly using observation and surveys as methods of research. The paper is organized as follows: in the first part we discuss the basic concepts of the network theory (Barabasi 2002), leadership (Maxwell 1991), skills (Mumford et al. 2007) and influence (Cocheci 2017). In the second part, we present four concrete cases of identifying leadership skills within and with the help of social network sites, namely of the information gathered and interpreted by us, according to the specialized literature. The subjects we chose are leaders of four large companies in Romania who allowed us to access their SNSs and answered our questions during interviews organized on this occasion. The purpose of these interviews was to outline some types of desirable/undesirable behaviors in specific situations (access to and distribution of information; direct or indirect interaction with third parties; attract material and/or financial resources; formulate a vision; identify problems and consequences, objective assessment of situations and people).

The outcome of the whole work could be a model that can form the basis of a useful methodology for human resource departments, as well as for the head-hunting companies interested in finding people with leadership skills and potential.


Leadership Social media Skills Hubs Connectors 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of BucharestBucharestRomania

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