Organizations are increasingly moving into virtual project environments, yet little research is available about virtual project manager leadership behaviors that contribute to project success or that research is limited to certain cultures, project types, or countries. While virtual teams provide many advantages to organizations, the complexity in leading virtual teams is significant. Research within traditional face-to-face project management has found that a transformational leadership approach results in the best project outcome and that leadership is the most important factor influencing project success. The purpose of the generic qualitative study was to understand what virtual leadership behaviors are perceived to provide successful outcomes and whether leadership is the only prominent factor in project success. As the project management profession continues to struggle with low project success rates, the generic qualitative study contributes to the growing research on virtual project leadership. The generic qualitative study consisted of 13 virtual project managers within a Southern chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Semi-structured interviews were used to answer the following research question: How do virtual project managers within a Southern chapter of the PMI community describe their leadership behaviors that result in project success? The virtual project managers interviewed all had led a successful virtual project. Data analysis was completed using transcripts from the in-depth interviews and NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software application. Descriptive and interpretive coding was completed and supported the development of themes. The results of the generic qualitative study indicated that in virtual projects, the transformational leadership approach is not as effective as transactional and servant leadership. Leadership behaviors alone cannot support a successful virtual project. Virtual project managers also need to have strong communication and meeting facilitation skills. The support of the organization’s leadership to provide the right collaboration tools and a project budget that allows the team to meet in-person at least once during the project is also equally important.
|Advisor:||Randall, Phillip M.|
|Commitee:||McConnaughey, Cheryl, Blando, Judith|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Project leadership, Project success, Successful virtual projects, Virtual project leadership, Virtual project managers, Virtual projects|
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