Towards e-leadership project

The three-year (2009-2012) project Towards e-leadership: Higher profitability through innovative management and leadership systems is a joint effort by School of Computing and Department of Business at the University of Eastern Finland. The project is funded by Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES), European Regional Development Fund and the seven partner companies. The role of the participating research groups is to focus on the scientific and educational perspective whereas enterprises with their partner networks contribute business expertise and make it possible to test the deliverables in an authentic enterprise environment.

Leaders in global corporations deal daily with decisions that require the integration of multiple perspectives and information from a variety of sources both internal and external to the corporation. The core idea of the project is to make, with the help of technology, the knowledge stored in text documents explicit and clearly represented. This will enable better management of the resources of the enterprise.

Understanding the factors that affect a business decision requires access to reliable information available from a number of sources through a variety of channels. Unfortunately, often the relevant information is scattered, poorly integrated, and difficult to access. A key problem in leadership is to find the relevant information from the large pool of available data. Moreover, data and information are often hidden when represented in an unstructured textual form, such as reports, e-mails, contracts and web documents.

There are multiple ways in which information can be represented in order to enhance its usefulness and usability for a leader: instead of simple numerical representation it can be presented in a textual or visual form. Moreover, instead of just using static representations the data should be dynamic to reflect the ever-changing environment in which modern companies operate. Thus, dynamic analysis and representations help in achieving a proactive leadership.