This exploratory research examined the interpersonal competencies and the communication media that project managers use when interacting with their virtual team members. Participants were selected through purposeful sampling and consisted of 10 project managers that led virtual teams. Five of the participants were female and five were male. These project managers represented various industrial fields including oil and gas exploration, information technology, and financial institutions. Interviews using the Critical Incident Technique (Flanagan, 1954) were used to elicit real-time experiences of the project managers while leading virtual teams. Interpersonal competencies identified by Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) were used in the data analysis. Analysis of the data indicates that the type of incident is a key indicator to both the interpersonal competencies demonstrated and the selection of the media used when interacting with their virtual team members. Additional findings from this qualitative exploratory research find the interpersonal competencies identified by the PMI and IPMA are very similar potentially signifying the global nature of project management. The results of this study contribute to the continuing research on project management competencies in the quest of universal competency standards.
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