Can virtual work simply be described as doing the same work in a different venue? Is the virtual workforce merely a construct of technology? Where does the virtual worker fit into the paradigm of telework? And how does leadership of the virtual workforce need to adapt to accomplishing work in a virtual environment? The fact is that the culture of virtual work has become increasingly rooted over the years. Most recently, economic struggles and the advanced technology associated with a global economy have set the stage for a more connected workforce in more disconnected venues. Virtual work offers distinct positives for organizations as well as employees. Employers save financially by reducing the costs associated with physical footprints, and employees save commute time as well as commute costs. While virtual organizations may appear to be a panacea for the economic and time complexities that beset employees and corporations, the success of the virtual workforce presents a viable challenge to leaders. Instead of leading less in a relatively anonymous environment, leaders need to alter their leadership behaviors to be able to lead more in the virtual workspace. Through a phenomenological study, the research herein was designed to explore and offer insights into leadership behaviors, from the vantage point of virtual workers, that positively or negatively influence the success of virtual organizations. The significance of this topic rests in the fact that leadership behaviors play a central role in defining the success of a virtual organization (Society for Human Resource Management, 2010). Hence, the purpose of this study is to explore the leadership behaviors that positively and negatively impact the success of a virtual organization. Using an analysis of research that defines the successful virtual organization as one that maintains metrics that are equal to or exceed in-office environments in terms of employee productivity, retention, attendance, development, and promotions, this study examines leadership behaviors from the vantage point of virtual workers.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Telecommuting; Organizational leadership; Employees -- Effect of technological innovations on; Virtual corporations -- Management; Leadership
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Gladys, Ann, "A phenomenological study of the lived experiences of employees who work virtually and their perceptions of leadership behaviors that create a successful virtual organization" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 430.