COVID-19 leadership challenges in knowledge work

Kathrin Kirchner*, Christine Ipsen, John Paulin Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Considerable attention has been paid to employees’ experiences when working from home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their well-being and performance. However, less attention has been paid to how managers experience WFH and how this may challenge them in their new role as distance managers. This study investigates how managers of knowledge work experienced distance management during COVID-19. An international survey was distributed in the first weeks of the Danish national lockdown and collected data in spring 2020. Based on Danish responses from 1053 employees and 290 managers of knowledge work, who had limited prior experience in distance management, our analysis revealed 12 items where managers found their work during lockdown to be more challenging than employees did. The implications are that research and practice should consider the well-being and performance consequences of WFH not only for employees but also for managers, as their experiences differ, and the managers express challenges in their leadership.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKnowledge Management Research & Practice
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)493-500
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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