Managing IT projects in a virtual environment: The challenges of a virtual leader-follower relationship and effect on change management strategy

by Tela, Tonderai D., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 169 pages; 10239498


This phenomelogical qualitative research examined the challenges that virtual team (VT) managers face when managing in a virtual environment. The interview participants were selected via a purposeful sampling and consisted of 10 virtual team managers. The VT managers were from various industries to include communication, engineering and information technology. Telephone interviews were done using semi-structured open ended questions to solicit real-time experiences of the VT managers while leading virtual teams. These interviews used a conversational technique that requested participants to narrate and describe the experience and management situations they encountered in the process of performing their day to day duties. The narration of experiences and descriptions of situations by the participant formed several themes relating to challenges of managing virtual teams. To develop the themes from the data collected, a horizontalization process was performed as part of the phenomenological reduction process, as defined in the transcendental phenomenological method. NVivo11 was used in the horizontalization process. The themes identified included management challenges and communication, leadership styles, and training. The analysis of the data from this study suggests that the VT managers are experiencing challenges in communication, building trust, culture, relating with teams as well time management. This research concludes by recommending more research to develop leadership training and management approaches for virtual team management.

AdvisersClifford Butler; Linda Terry
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Information technology; Technical communication
Publication Number10239498

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