Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

J Jason Berman.

Abstract

Today more and more organizations increasingly conduct business using globally distributed teams, also called virtual teams, because of the availability and ubiquity of information and communication technology. E-leadership refers to leading through computer-mediated communication. In the field of e-leadership, transformational leadership has been studied for the past two decades and has been the most-often-cited leadership theory. The literature review discusses how transformational leadership behaviors affect team performance in the context of virtuality, in particular interpersonal trust and organizational commitment of the virtual team members. The researcher conducted a quantitative research study to examine (a) the relationships between transformational leadership and interpersonal trust and organizational commitment of virtual team members, (b) the impacts of the four constructs of transformational leadership via computer-mediated communication, and (c) the moderating effect of the degree of virtuality on such relationships. Study results indicate that transformational leadership behaviors positively affected interpersonal trust and organizational commitment of virtual team members. Among its four constructs, one particular construct—individualized consideration—had a more prominent role. Variety of practices moderated the relationship between transformational leadership and interpersonal trust. Practical implications and future research directions in the emerging field of transformational e-leadership are discussed. Future research directions are suggested.

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