Occurrence and Effects of Leader Delegation in Virtual Software Teams

Occurrence and Effects of Leader Delegation in Virtual Software Teams

Suling Zhang (Kean University, USA), Marilyn Tremaine (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Rich Egan (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Allen Milewski (Monmouth University, USA), Patrick O'Sullivan (IBM Dublin Lab, Ireland) and Jerry Fjermestad (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-060-8.ch145
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Virtual teams are an important work structure in software development projects. However, little is known about what constitutes effective virtual software team leadership, in particular, the amount of leader delegation that is appropriate in a virtual software-development environment. This study investigates virtual software team leader delegation and explores the impact of delegation strategies on virtual team performance mediated by team motivation, team flexibility and team satisfaction with the team leader. This research is a report of a pilot study run on student teams carried out to refine and test the research constructs and research model for a larger study run in corporations. The study found that virtual team leaders delegate more to competent virtual teams and that such delegation is positively correlated with team member satisfaction with their leader and with team member motivation. Overall, the work provides important information for software- based organizations interested in developing virtual team leadership skills.

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