An investigation into leadership in virtual team environments, exploring implications for motivation, performance and culture
The following study will examine the leadership styles and behaviours that are applied within a virtual/remote working environment. It will draw in on and analyse leadership approaches while exploring links with performance, motivation, and culture within a virtual context. This study used a qualitative methodology and data was collected via an online questionnaire to help answer the research question which was, what is the most effective leadership style used to help ensure employee motivation, performance and culture within the virtual/remote working environment? A purposive sampling model was used and the inclusion criteria for the study outlined that participants were required to be in a leadership position within a virtual working environment. In order to help meet the aims and objectives of the study, current literature surrounding virtual leadership and motivation, performance and culture within the virtual environment was critically reviewed. Data collected was then reviewed and grouped into themes following a similar flow to the literature review. Results from the study clearly outline that a transformational leadership style and traits associated with this approach are favoured by virtual leaders in helping effectively manage their teams. It was also concluded that communication between managers and staff, motivating staff, lack of cohesion, and building trust were outlined as the biggest challenge for virtual leaders. The researcher found that tools to overcome these challenges included: • The use of regular and varied communication methods • Providing staff with financial rewards and constructive feedback • Providing social engagement activities Lastly, the researcher has outlined recommendations for future research and an overview of the current research process used in chapter 5.