Date of Award



© 2016 DeAnn Chriestenson

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Carol Holmquist

Third Advisor

William Cowen


Corporations are facing a more complex and challenging global business environment, and many have implemented a virtual workforce to maintain their competitive advantage through maximizing productivity, reducing product time to market, and cost reduction. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of virtual leadership, as seen through the eyes of study participants (Merriam, 2009). Participants included fifteen Fortune 500 virtual team leaders who had prior experience leading traditional co-located teams. Data collected through telephone interviews were transcribed verbatim and NVivo 11 assisted in the coding, analyses, and presentation. The data analysis emerged with four major themes: (a) establishing and maintaining rapport with subordinates in the absence of physical cues; (b) monitoring and assessing individual performance and the importance of follow-up on observed performance issues; (c) having inherent people skills to bridge the distance created by working over a virtual platform and across different time zones and geographic locations; and (d) establishing effective virtual communications systems and workflow processes (Lepsinger, 2014).


Ed.D. Dissertation