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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A phenomenological study of the lived experiences of employees who work virtually and their perceptions of leadership behaviors that create a successful virtual organization
by Gladys, Ann, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2014, 172; 3619351
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Keywords: virtual workforce, telework, leadership traits, leadership behaviors, productivity, retention, attendance, training, employee promotions

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schmieder-Ramirez, June
Commitee: Harvey, Andrew, Majidi, Farzin
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Employee productivity, Leadership behaviors, Leadership traits, Telework, Transformational leadership, Virtual leadership
Publication Number: 3619351
ISBN: 978-1-303-88348-4
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