This study compares the job satisfaction of individual contributors and managers on local (co-located) software teams versus those working on virtual teams. It also examines differences in job satisfaction among workers of differing experience levels. Participants were recruited from two software organizations; one from Company V and one from Company L, a spinoff company formed from Company V's former semiconductor division. The Company L team was a local (co-located) team housed in one building. The Company V team is a distributed virtual software development team and is spread across five cities in California, Oregon, Arizona and Texas. Some members of the Company V team work in Malaysia, but were not included in this study. A total of 40 software engineers and their managers were surveyed using the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) for job satisfaction, a valid and reliable instrument with over 30 years of historical data to support it. Comparative statistics were used to determine if there were differences in job satisfaction between the two teams. In addition, the results were sorted by experience and job satisfaction, after which, comparisons between the four different experience levels were made. The four experience groups were: 0 to 5, 5-10, 10 to 20 and 20 or more years of experience. The study showed strong similarities in job satisfaction between these two organizations. There was little notable difference in job satisfaction between the two groups (Company L and Company V) and among the four experience levels. The results of this study are important because they support claims that the experience of workers on a virtual team is similar to that of those on traditional co-located local team. This study also suggests that there is little difference in job satisfaction among workers of differing experience levels for these two groups of software engineers and their managers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Job satisfaction; Teams in the workplace

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Leigh, Doug;