Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Dr. Misty Loughry

Second Advisor

Dr. Jorge Jaramillo


virtual work, degree of virtualness, performance appraisals, LMX, organizational justice, inclusiveness


With advances in information and communication technology, many organizations no longer require employees to work in the same location as their leader. This results in employees having different amounts of face-to-face and electronic-mediated communication, or different degrees of virtualness, with the leader. While virtualness can provide benefits to organizations, virtual workers’ contributions may not be properly recognized. This dissertation investigated the relationship between the degree of virtualness and both performance-appraisal scores and subordinates’ perceptions of the fairness of the performance appraisals in the Navy Reserve. The study also examined the mediating effects of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX), a measure of relationship quality between the leader and subordinate. Finally, the study investigated leader inclusiveness as a moderator between the degree of virtualness and LMX, performance appraisal scores, and perceptions of organizational justice, suggesting that leaders who foster inclusiveness may mitigate the potentially harmful effects of virtualness. Results show that the degree of virtualness is, in fact, negatively related to performance appraisal scores and organizational justice through the mediation of LMX. Control variables showed that women were rated lower than men and supervisors were more likely to communicate performance evaluations in person when scores were higher. Interestingly, tenure with supervisors had a negative effect but tenure in the unit had a positive effect. This study contributes to the literature degree of virtualness, performance appraisals, organizational justice, and leader inclusiveness. Managerial implications and future research opportunities are also discussed. Findings suggest the Navy Reserve should consider evaluating virtual workers as a separate category.