Leading strangers: A grounded theory study of project team managers' perspectives of virtual team management

by Dixon, Wanita E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 160 pages; 3540317


The purpose of this qualitative, grounded theory study was to explore the phenomenon of virtual project team management, from the perspective of the project managers. Twelve participants were interviewed and shared their experiences, from preparation for their first formal project management role to reflecting upon virtual project team management. As in previous studies, the participants defined a virtual team as one consisting of geographically dispersed employees of varying cultures that utilize technology as the primary means of communication. Data analysis indicated that virtual project team managers value leading strangers despite group dynamics related issues and the increased need for conflict resolution. Certain leadership competencies were identified as most beneficial to the management of virtual project teams, including situational leadership, and greater need to hold team members accountable than in collocated teams. Other findings revealed which tools participants suggested for facilitating virtual team management and the feelings of isolation by virtual team members. The project managers interviewed also encouraged the practice of "equal access" to information, whether their team members were remote or collocated. This study is unique because of the in depth interviewing of project managers in engineering and IT professions rather than students in a laboratory setting. Finally, the study adds to the body of knowledge for management of virtual project teams.

AdviserMary Evans Kasala
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Information technology; Organization theory
Publication Number3540317

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