The primary focus of this phenomenological research study was to define the characteristics of a successful model for virtual team structure in a nonprofit organization. This research study employed transcendental phenomenology in exploring the perspectives and lived experiences of nonprofit virtual team leaders, which was used to generate an optimal model for virtual team structure. Fifteen individuals participated in the research study. The participants include individuals over the age of 21, have managed a virtual team with three or more team members, have a minimum of three years virtual leadership experience, and are associated members of ARNOVA. Seven themes emerged from the data, namely, Leadership, Relationships, Collaboration, Cultural Influence, Project Setting, Team Environment, and Team Processes. These themes were used to in the discovery and development of an optimal model for virtual team structures. Based on the results of this research study, the optimal model for a virtual team comprised of professional staff, volunteers, and independent consultants is the Modified Iterative Work Design Approach. The findings from the research revealed that virtual team structures do not use a one-size-fits-all model. However, the Modified Iterative Work Design Approach emerged as the optimal model for this research study, as it incorporated factors relative to leadership, team member relationships, and team collaboration. The optimal model for any virtual team structure is dependent upon the factors surrounding that virtual team.
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