Jason Kujanen


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine cultural transparency and engagement in workplaces where a majority of employees work virtually. The study was conducted with Cisco Systems, a high-technology company based in Silicon Valley, California, using an online survey and phone interviews to assess the organization’s level of cultural transparency and the factors that create an open and engaging environment. Trust was found to be a key denominator in fostering transparency and employee engagement. Virtual tools, such as instant messaging, WebEx, and telepresence, foster cultural transparency and can be powerful supports for the creation and maintenance of trust, accountability, and communication among leaders and employees. While e presence, leadership presence, social presence, and knowledge presence can be powerful attractors for trust, accountability, and communication, employees also highly valued engagement factors not aligned with transparency, such as employee growth, work/life balance, and collaboration. Engaging employees requires careful design of the workplace environment so that it reflects open communication, leadership presence, e presence, social presence, and knowledge presence. The results of the study indicate the importance of purposefully training new virtual leaders and hiring leaders who demonstrate key competencies that are valued in a transparent virtual work environment. Leaders play a significant role in creating and sustaining a culture of transparency and engagement. Leaders are encouraged to evaluate the level of trust and transparency in their organizations and consider what interventions may be most appropriate for enhancing trust and transparency in their organizations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Organization Development; Virtual work teams -- Management; Telecommuting -- Management; Organizational behavior; Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Lacey, Miriam;