Virtual Team Leadership: Perspectives From the Field

Virtual Team Leadership: Perspectives From the Field

Laura A. Hambley (University of Calgary, Canada), Thomas A. O’Neill (University of Western Ontario, Canada) and Theresa J.B. Kline (University of Calgary, Canada)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/jec.2007010103
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to improve the understanding of virtual team leadership occurring within existing virtual teams in a range of organizations. Qualitative data were collected through comprehensive interviews with nine virtual team leaders and members from six different organizations. A semi-structured interview format was used to elicit extensive information about effective and ineffective virtual team leadership behaviours. Content analysis was used to code the interview transcripts and detailed notes obtained from these interviews. Two independent raters categorized results into themes and sub-themes. These results provide real-world examples and recommendations above and beyond what can be learned from simulated laboratory experiments. The four most important overarching findings are described using the following headings: 1) Leadership critical in virtual teams, 2) Virtual team meeting effectiveness, 3) Personalizing virtual teamwork, and 4) Learning to effectively use different media. These findings represent the most significant and pertinent results from this qualitative data and provide direction for future research, as well as practical recommendations for leaders and members of virtual teams.

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