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Unit 10 Assignment (FINAL): High Performing Teams’ Training
You have been tasked with creating a training program to help executive management develop fully
functional virtual teams around North America (Mexico, U.S. and Canada) that will either (1) develop
new products, (2) be tasked with regional customer services, or (3) be in charge of regional marketing;
this your choice.
The name of the training program is titled “The Dream Team”.
You are going to create a virtual team training session and you will choose the reason for the teams’
development through the training program from the three possibilities provided above. Then address
the following checklist items:
Checklist: Dream Team Presentation

You will describe the overall training program to train 20 teams of 5 for the reason you chose
from the three choices provided.

Use the Training Steps (from your Reading) to create an agenda that will include the vital
content you deem necessary to manage and develop collaborative high performing teams for
the purpose you selected from the three possibilities.

Make sure to address the needed team building process steps.

How will these teams manage themselves?

What skills will these high performing team members need to direct themselves?

What skills will be needed and what practices will need to be implemented by the external
leaders of these high performing teams?

The 2–3 page paper in APA format and citation style with an additional title and reference page.
You must include two short in-text citations with their accompanying references.

Your minimum 10-slide PowerPoint presentation of the paper using three (3) to four (4) bulleted
points per slide with audio and your audio transcript included at the end of the presentation (or
as notes below each slide). Add an additional title and references slide.
Journal of Applied Psychology
2014, Vol. 99, No. 3, 390 – 403
© 2012 American Psychological Association
Leading Virtual Teams: Hierarchical Leadership, Structural Supports, and
Shared Team Leadership
Julia E. Hoch and Steve W. J. Kozlowski
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Michigan State University
Using a field sample of 101 virtual teams, this research empirically evaluates the impact of traditional
hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership on team performance. Building
on Bell and Kozlowski’s (2002) work, we expected structural supports and shared team leadership to be
more, and hierarchical leadership to be less, strongly related to team performance when teams were more
virtual in nature. As predicted, results from moderation analyses indicated that the extent to which teams
were more virtual attenuated relations between hierarchical leadership and team performance but
strengthened relations for structural supports and team performance. However, shared team leadership
was significantly related to team performance regardless of the degree of virtuality. Results are discussed
in terms of needed research extensions for understanding leadership processes in virtual teams and
practical implications for leading virtual teams.
Keywords: team virtuality, virtual team leadership, structural supports, shared team leadership, team
Most research has focused on the advantages and disadvantages of virtual teams. Relative to face-to-face teams, benefits
attributed to the use of virtual teams include the ability to
compose a team of experts flung across space and time, increases in staffing flexibility to meet market demands, and cost
savings from reduced travel (Kirkman, Gibson, & Kim, 2012;
Kirkman & Malthieu, 2005; Stanko & Gibson, 2009). Disadvantages include lower levels of team cohesion, work satisfaction, trust, cooperative behavior, social control, and commitment to team goals; all factors that can negatively impact team
In light of these concerns, it is surprising that relatively
limited research attention has been directed toward virtual team
leadership (Gibson & Gibbs, 2006; Kirkman et al., 2012; Martins, Gilson, & Maynard, 2004; O’Leary & Mortensen, 2010;
Siebdraht, Hoegl, & Ernst, 2009). Team leadership is regarded
as a key mechanism for minimizing motivation and coordination losses and maintaining team effectiveness when they are
virtual (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002; Malhotra, Majchrzak, &
Rosen, 2007; Martins et al., 2004; Zigurs, 2003). However, one
particular concern is that traditional hierarchical leadership
processes are expected to be disadvantaged in virtual teams
because of the lack of face-to-face contact. Thus, some scholars
have suggested that hierarchical leadership processes may need
to be supplemented in virtual teams as a way to augment team
effectiveness (Avolio, Kahai, & Dodge, 2000; Bell & Kozlowski, 2002). The purpose of this research is to investigate the
impact of team leadership on team performance in teams that
span degrees of virtuality. Although this perspective has been
proposed in the theoretical literature, it has not been examined
empirically. In particular, we examine the extent to which
structural supports and shared team leadership supplement hierarchical leadership and the extent to which these relationships
are moderated by the degree of virtuality.
Virtual teams work together over time and distance via electronic media to combine effort and achieve common goals (Bell &
Kozlowski, 2002). Although surveys indicate that fewer than 50%
of companies used virtual teams in 2000, by 2008 over 65% stated
that their reliance on virtual teams would “mushroom” in the
future. Moreover, among companies with over 10,000 employees,
the use of virtual teams was projected to be 80% (i4cp, 2006,
2008). Concurrent with this growth in the use of virtual teams, the
literature on virtual teams has been increasing (Cheshin, Rafaeli, &
Bos, 2011; Hill, Bartol, Tesluk, & Langa, 2009; Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps, & Lipnack, 2004; Martins & Shalley, 2011;
Mesmer-Magnus, DeChurch, Jimenez-Rodriguez, Wildman, &
Shuffler, 2011; Peters & Karren, 2009; Sarker, Anjuja, Sarker, &
Kirkeby, 2011; Shin, 2004).
Editor’s Note. Eduardo Salas served as the action editor for this article.—
This article was published Online First December 3, 2012.
Julia E. Hoch, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Michigan State University; Steve W. J. Kozlowski, Department of Psychology,
Michigan State University.
The first author would like to acknowledge the German Research Foundation (Grant No. 1412/6-1, U. Konradt, PI) for funding that, in part,
provided support during her doctoral dissertation research and Dr. Konradt
for serving as Chair of her doctoral thesis committee. Nonetheless, any
opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are
those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the DFG.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Julia E.
Hoch, who is now at California State University, Northridge, College of
Business and Economics, Department of Management, Juniper Hall
JH4216, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330, or to Steve W. J.
Kozlowski, Michigan State University, Department of Psychology, 309
Psychology Building, East Lansing, MI 48824. E-mail: julia.hoch@csun
.edu or or
Theoretical Development
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Leadership in Virtual Teams
There is consensus among scholars that virtual teams are more
difficult to lead than face-to-face teams (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002;
Duarte & Snyder, 2001; Gibson & Cohen, 2003; Hinds & Kiesler,
2002; Lipnack & Stamps, 2000). As a consequence of the lack of
face-to-face contact and geographical dispersion, as well as the
(often) asynchronous nature of communication, it is more difficult
for team leaders to perform traditional hierarchical leadership
behaviors such as motivating members and managing team dynamics (Avolio et al., 2000; Bell & Kozlowski, 2002; Purvanova
& Bono, 2009). It has been argued that leader influence can be
extended by having leadership augmented by new media (Avolio
& Kahai, 2003; Avolio et al., 2000) and that team leaders simply
have to learn how to use and apply those media properly. Findings
from empirical research show that getting virtual teams to function
equivalently to face-to-face teams requires virtual team leaders to
invest much more time and effort (Purvanova & Bono, 2009),
although showing more initiative, trying harder, and investing
more time and energy might not always be feasible.
Some scholars suggest that leadership functions should be supplemented by providing structural supports (Bell & Kozlowki,
2002; Hinds & Kiesler, 2002; Kahai, Sosik, & Avolio, 2003). For
example, structuring rewards to provide incentives for performance should result in higher motivation. Another suggested approach is to supplement leadership by distributing leadership to
team members (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002). Sharing leadership with
team members is based on the premise that leadership should not
be the sole responsibility of a hierarchical leader, but should be
collectively exercised by empowering and developing individual
team members (Kirkman, Rosen, Tesluk, & Gibson, 2004).
Although this view of leadership challenges in virtual teams has
consensus in the literature, it has not been subjected to empirical
verification. With respect to improving team performance, it is
important to understand the extent to which the influence of
hierarchical leadership is attenuated (or not) as team virtuality
increases. Moreover, if the influence of hierarchical leadership is
diminished as is suspected, then the extent to which it can be
supplemented by structural supports and shared team leadership
(and, potentially, other supplements) becomes a critical target for
theory and research extensions.
To examine these issues, our conceptual model treats hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership as
inputs to team performance. The model is illustrated in Figure 1.
The basic premise of our approach is that supplementing hierarchical leadership with shared leadership and structural supports
will be more relevant when teams are more virtual in nature. Thus,
the degree of team virtuality is predicted to moderate the relationships between hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and
shared team leadership with team performance.
There are two notable aspects of the model. First, it is focused on
the contribution of these input factors to team performance. The
model does not focus on mediating processes at this stage of the
research. The primary reason for this focused approach is to enable a
clear evaluation of the moderating effects of virtuality on the contributions of hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared
leadership to team performance. Second, the inputs are conceptual-
Structural Supports
• Reward Systems
• Communication and
Team Performance
Hierarchical Leadership
• Transformational Leadership
• Leader-Member Exchange
• Career Mentoring
Shared Team Leadership
• Cognitive Team Learning
• Affective Team Support
• Behavioral MemberMember Exchange

Electronic Communication
Figure 1. Effects of structural supports, hierarchical leadership, and
shared team leadership in predicting team performance, moderated by team
ized as distinct higher-order factors or construct composites, rather
than unitary constructs. This allows each of the inputs to be conceptualized as a composite of established constructs. For example, hierarchical leadership is represented by transformational leadership,
leader–member exchange, and supervisory mentoring. Each of these
constructs, as core aspects of hierarchical leadership, is supported by
a body of theory and empirical research with established measures.
Using established constructs and measures of hierarchical leadership
as input factors allows us to clearly assess the potential supplementary
influence provided by structural supports and shared leadership. The
same conceptual and measurement approach using established constructs and measures is applied to structural supports and shared
Team Virtuality
With the growth and evolution of virtual teams during the past
decade, researchers have focused on the conceptualization and
measurement of team virtuality (e.g., Bell & Kozlowski, 2002;
Hinds, Liu, & Lyon, 2011; Kirkman & Malthieu, 2005). In early
research, virtuality was treated as distinctly categorical; researchers applied a simple dichotomous characterization of virtual and
face-to-face teams. More recently, however, scholars have asserted
that this simple characterization glosses over a variety of nuanced
dimensions that underlie a range of differences in the degree of
virtuality (Gibson & Gibbs, 2006; Irwin & McClelland, 2003;
Kirkman et al., 2012; MacCallum, Zhang, Preacher, & Rucker,
2002; Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2011). Whereas early conceptualizations focused exclusively on geographic distribution, subsequent conceptualizations added electronic communication and
noted differences between the use of asynchronous and synchronous communications (e.g., Bell & Kozlowski, 2002). Empirical
research, accordingly, refers to both the facets of geographic distribution (e.g., O’Leary & Cummings, 2007; O’Leary & Mortensen,
2010) as well as the relative amount of e-communication media usage
(Griffith, Sawyer, & Neale, 2003; Kirkman et al., 2004; MesmerMagnus et al., 2011) as indicative of “team virtuality.” This is now
the established approach to conceptualizing virtuality.
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
However, virtual teams increasingly span national boundaries
and differences in cultural background are becoming more important to consider as an aspect of virtuality (Hinds et al., 2011;
Staples & Zhao, 2006; Tsui, Nifadkar, & Ou, 2007). Indeed, Hinds
et al. (2011) criticized the lack of inclusion of national and cultural
differences in conceptualizations of virtuality. As “organizations
are increasingly compelled to establish a presence in multiple
countries as a means of reducing labor costs, capturing specialized
expertise, and understanding emerging markets . . . they often
create conditions in which workers must collaborate across national boundaries” (Hinds et al., 2011, p. 136). Accordingly, researchers need to put the global back into “global work” by
considering cultural differences.
Research is increasingly considering cultural differences as an
important component of virtuality in globally dispersed teams (e.g.,
Chen, Kirkman, Kim, Farh, & Tangirala, 2010; Gibson & Gibbs,
2006; Tsui et al., 2007). Based on this evolving view of virtuality, our
conceptualization comprises geographic distribution (e.g., O’Leary &
Cummings, 2007), relative amount of e-communication media usage
(e.g., Kirkman et al., 2004), and cultural diversity (e.g., Gibson &
Gibbs, 2006; Hinds et al., 2011; Tsui et al., 2007) as an addition to the
established components of team virtuality.
The Role of Hierarchical Leadership in Virtual Teams
Hierarchical leadership reflects formally designated leadership
(Ensley, Hmieleski, & Pearce, 2006; Morgeson, DeRue, & Karam,
2010; Yukl, 2010). Two well-established leadership theories relevant to hierarchical leadership that have been widely supported in
the empirical literature are transformational leadership and leader–
member exchange (LMX). Both transformational leadership
(Fuller, Patterson, Hester, & Stringer, 1996; Judge & Piccolo,
2004; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996) and LMX (e.g.,
Gerstner & Day, 1997; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995) are strong
predictors of individual and team performance. Moreover, transformational leadership and LMX are the most prevalent approaches used in research on virtual teams (e.g., Avolio et al.,
2000; Hambley, O’Neill, & Kline, 2007; J. M. Howell & HallMerenda, 1999; J. M. Howell, Neufeld, & Avolio, 2005).
Although it has received less attention, we posit that supervisory
career mentoring (e.g., Kram, 1985) is an important leadership
technique in virtual teams. Supervisory career mentoring is related
to career outcomes such as salary level, promotion rate, and job
satisfaction, as well as to objective and subjective performance
(Allen, Eby, Poteet, Lentz, & Lima, 2004; Chao, Walz, & Gardner,
1992; Scandura & Ragins, 1993; Whitely, Dougherty, & Dreher,
1991). Transformational leadership, LMX, and supervisory career
mentoring are the three primary constructs that comprise hierarchical leadership in the model.
First, transformational leadership (e.g., Bass, 1985, 1998) has
been found to enhance performance in a wide range of organizational settings (Fuller et al., 1996; Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Lowe et
al., 1996). Transformational leader behaviors are aimed at inspiring follower motivation and stimulating them to stretch their
capabilities and to go beyond typical performance (Judge & Piccolo, 2004). However, these forms of leader behavior have also
been posited to have weaker relations for virtual teams (Hambley
et al., 2007; J. M. Howell & Hall-Merenda, 1999; J. M. Howell et
al., 2005). Interpretations of leader behavior as transformational
are likely facilitated by cues that are more difficult to transmit,
detect, and interpret in a virtual work context.
Second, LMX also contributes to positive organizational outcomes (Gerstner & Day, 1997; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). LMX is
concerned with the nature and the quality of the dyadic relationship between the team leader and each member. It describes the
nature of the leader–member relationship and, as such, is primarily
developed through face-to-face contact (Gerstner & Day, 1997),
although it can be maintained via forms of electronic communication such as e-mail and video-conferencing. LMX provides an
alternative mechanism for leader influence (J. M. Howell & HallMerenda, 1999) since interpersonal relationships, once developed,
might be less adversely affected by the lack of ongoing face-toface contact in virtual teams, but may also be difficult to develop
where the leader has little to no face-to-face contact with team
Third, Hamilton and Scandura (2003) highlighted e-mentoring
as an important leadership function for managing virtual teams,
since it is not restricted to face-to-face contact. Moreover, due to
virtual interaction, demographic “cues” (e.g., age or gender) are
less salient and less likely to influence protégé selection. Accordingly, decisions about who to mentor will be more likely based on
performance criteria. Mentoring further aids in the development of
strong personal relationships that help strengthen leader influence
on the team member (Ostroff & Kozlowski, 1993). By increasing
interaction among leaders and members, it can counteract the
negative effects of limited face-to-face contact in virtual teams
(Hamilton & Scandura, 2003).
Hypothesis 1: The positive relationship between hierarchical
leadership (transformational leadership, LMX, and mentoring)
and team performance decreases as team virtuality increases.
The Role of Structural Supports in Virtual Teams
Given that hierarchical leadership is assumed …
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