Sean Newman

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Rollins Access Only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Dr. Robert Ford

Second Advisor

Dr. Greg Marshall


The main objective of this research study is to analyze the impact of the perception of virtual team members on how effective their team leaders’ use of communication tools and techniques and how the leaders’ communication style impacts the teams’ performance results. In addition, the study reviews the role trust plays as a moderating variable as team members trust in their leaders moderates the relationship between leaders’ effective use of communication tools and techniques, leader communication style, and team performance results. The study examined these relationships by collecting a sample of 458 responses representing 68 teams from a large professional human resources consulting and outsourcing company.

The study found a positive relationship between virtual team members’ perception leaders’ effective use of communications, leaders’ communication style, and team members’ perception of their team’s performance. The study also found that trust strengthens the relationship between the virtual team members’ perception leaders’ effective use of communication, and communication style with team members’ ratings of their team’s performance.

This is an important topic and of great interest to researchers because of the recent movement of teams from working in traditional co-located office arrangements to working virtually across a variety of locations. Virtual team structures provide organizations advantages from traditional co-located office arrangements in providing more resource options and flexibility with potential cost benefits. However, virtual teams also have unique challenges. One of the main challenges is effective leader communication. Leader communication can strengthen or weaken the degree of trustworthiness team members have for their leader. The level of trust a leader has earned can increase the impact leader communication has on virtual team performance results. This study contributes to the knowledge of how leaders’ actions can increase the performance of virtual teams by measuring how virtual team member perceptions of leader’s use of communication tools, techniques, and the leader’s communication style impact virtual team performance, as moderated by team member perception of leader trustworthiness.