Theses Doctoral

Ways that Team Leaders of Virtual Teams Cultivate Team Learning

Pasquina, Edward

Corporations have become increasingly global over the past number of years. The rapid development and usage of communication technology has allowed global corporations to more readily form virtual teams to take advantage of the skills of its global workforce. Having skilled workers on teams helps to make them more productive. Productive teams tend to reach their objectives and ultimately drive the success of corporations. Team learning has long been linked with a team’s ability to reach its objectives. The team leader is seen as a key to enabling learning for the team. This qualitative study of 13 virtual teams sought to find ways that the leaders of these virtual teams cultivated team learning in the IT department of a leading global financial services firm. The study was especially focused on applications development project teams that were geographically and temporally dispersed and had an off-shore component as team members. Using the Dechant, Marsick, and Kasl (1993) model of team learning as a foundation, the researcher conducted critical incident interviews with the leaders of the virtual teams followed by administering the Dechant and Marsick (1993) Team Learning Survey to the team members. The study yielded insights that could be valuable to organizations that employ virtual team leaders as well as human resource development professionals who create training programs to enhance the skills of this group. Among the most prevalent skills identified included group facilitation, meeting management, process documentation, artifact creation, practicing learning agility, and soliciting input. The virtual team leader exhibited learning leadership by building relationships within the team and with other constituents; utilizing appropriate technology to enable learning; and conducting productive reflection sessions with the team to evaluate the team’s actions. Where team leaders needed to improve their efforts was around the monitoring and measuring of their learning efforts in order to gauge their full effectiveness.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
O'Neil, Judith Ann
Marsick, Victoria J.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2018