Socialized leadership and improvisational responding to COVID-19 supply voids

Stewart Clegg, Soumodip Sarkar, Anna Waldman-Brown, Raja Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A centrally initiated but collectively improvised voluntary network of disaggregated actors, professionals and non-professionals spread across the globe, in an example of socialized leadership in the form of Open Source Medical Supplies (OSMS). Drawn globally from universities, governments, firms and individuals, OSMS, was a digitally networked project platform to remedy medical supply shortages through the ethos of peer production. We demonstrate how such a globally distributed, but digitally interconnected, network can improvise solutions to grand challenges such as COVID-19. From a practical standpoint, our study offers invaluable insights on effectively mobilizing distributed communities to initiate swift, purposeful projects to mitigate disruptive crises. The dual focus on a central digital platform and its role in facilitating numerous localized, globally distributed initiatives, provides key learning for future responses to widespread issues, such as the PPE shortages witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100088
JournalProject Leadership and Society
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


  • Actor network
  • COVID-19
  • Improvisation
  • Peer production
  • Socialized leadership


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