Multiteam Leadership
CAREER: Leadership for Virtual Organizational Effectiveness

Project Personnel:
Dr. Leslie DeChurch (PI)
Dorothy Carter (Lead Graduate Student)
Ben Jones (Graduate Student)
Gabriel Plummer (Graduate Student)
Zachary Gibson (Undergraduate RA)
Morgan Foreman (Undergraduate RA)
Erica Richards (Undergraduate RA)
Kelsey Cannon (Undergraduate RA)
Bharatwaj Nandagopal (Undergraduate RA)

Funded by: The National Science Foundation, Award Abstract #1056217.
CAREER: Leadership for Virtual Organizational Effectiveness.
Link to Award Description

The overarching aim of the project is to generate a concrete understanding of leadership in virtual organizations in the service of developing leadership capacity within the scientific, community, and educational arenas. Organizations of all types are trending towards restructuring into collaborative work systems because they offer the ability to address complex problems by combining expertise distributed across business functions, knowledge specialties, and geographic locations. Often times the goals these systems face are complex and multifaceted requiring multiple distinct teams to coordinate their efforts with other distinct teams to form a network of teams. Because of the inherent complexity of goals and identification, leaders play a vital role in network success. However, there is an increasing realization that many of our theories of leadership do not address the unique leadership requirements of teams, particularly in a multiteam system (MTS) environment.

The primary research question addressed by this project is: What are the essential leadership processes that enable networks of teams to operate effectively? To address this question, we are in the process of designing a new laboratory study. This study will examine the effects of leadership in virtually connected MTSs. 12-member MTSs will combine expertise toward a humanitarian goal in a laboratory simulation—building life-sustaining wells in Africa.

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