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Virtual Team Research Project

Do you work on a Virtual Team?

IATF member and doctoral candidate Faisal Shehab is conducting a study on Emergent Leader Detection and Identification in a Virtual Team Environment.

Date: November 12, 2012
To: IATF Members & Community
Re: Request for Participation in a Doctoral Study to Investigate Emergent Leader Detection and Identification in a Virtual Team Environment

The rapid advancement of technology and globalization has created an opportunity for organizations to tap into a new market and customer base by expanding their operations globally. Globally distributed teams working outside the organization geographic boundaries have become more popular and have grown into an important element of the organization’s ability to achieve business objectives. The new demand for working outside geographical boundaries has created human resources (HR) risks for organizations wishing to hire the best people for the task. By using the VT option, organizations have mitigated the risk and can hire the best people, and give organizations the opportunity to bring together employees with a variety of skills to work without restrictions of time, travel, and cost limitations.

Team leadership is an important factor for improving team performance, controlling, decision-making, and providing direction. The ability of an organization to detect, identify, select, and develop emergent leaders is essential for any organization wishing to capitalize on such leadership skills to improve organizational performance and to optimize resource utilization practices. Due to the increasing complexity of the business environment, the demand for leadership has rapidly increased. Even if raw talent has no shortage, organizations can fill the leadership vacuum only if they know how to detect, identify, and develop their emergent leaders, which is not happening. Adding virtualness to the mix increases both the environmental complexity and the identification process, which makes the procedure for detecting and identifying emergent leaders more difficult. Currently there is, no research addressed how organizations detected, identified, or selected such leaders in a Virtual Team environment. 

We invite your participation in a research study on Emergent Leader Detection and Identification in a Virtual Team Environment. IATF member and doctoral candidate of the University of Phoenix Faisal Shehab, BSc, MMI, PMP, is conducting a study on Emergent Leader Detection and Identification in a Virtual Team Environment. The purpose of the research project is to determine the factors that virtual team members, virtual team managers, and human resources managers consider useful to identify emergent leaders in a virtual team environment, and to explore the processes used in the identification process. The objective of the project is to identify the challenges and obstacles managers face when identifying such emergent leaders and the organizational risks that might emerge by the inability to detect and identify such emergent leaders.

Using qualitative research method, this grounded theory study seek to explore the process of emergent leader detection and identification in a virtual team environment, as well as generation of a theory to explain the processes, actions, or interactions of participants in such contexts.

Faisal is seeking volunteers to participate in the study. Once selected based on experience on virtual teams, a small number of team members will be asked to answer questions on a survey and during an interview. Participants will need to have at least 1 year of experience working in or dealing with virtual teams in their workplace. Participants will not incur any costs and may withdraw from this study at any time.

Your participation will involve providing information about yourself (contact information) and your work experience working in or with virtual teams for the purpose of identifying the participants who fit the criteria for the interview stage.  If you are selected for the interview stage, you will grant one interview lasting not more than one hour. During the interview, you will be asked to respond to open-ended questions regarding your experience working with or in a virtual team in relation to the detection and identification of emergent leaders in a virtual team environment.  Your participation will provide valuable feedback to HR management practitioners on how to create effective strategies and processes to enable organizations to take advantage of emergent leaders in a Virtual Team environment, thus enhancing overall organizational justice and performance.

All information that you provide will remain confidential and will only be used for the purpose of this research project. This study is entirely anonymous and has been approved by the University of Phoenix Review Board (IRB). Mr. Tom Heck, the President of IATF, has granted permission for IATF participation.

Participant Requirements:

If you have experience in working, leading, managing, or dealing with Virtual Teams as an HR practitioner, you might have the knowledge and insight to uncover the mystery of emergent leadership detection and identification in a Virtual Team environment. With your help we can make a difference and improve organizational justice and effectiveness by providing organizations the knowledge on how to improve their ability to detect and identify emergent leaders in a Virtual Team environment. Please join me to uncover this mystery.

==> Participants with at least 1 year of experience as VT members, VT managers, or HR practitioners dealing with VT.
==> Participants who work in the United States or Canada.

About participants demographics survey:

The purpose of this survey is to collect participants’ demographics information to determine their eligibility to participate in the second stage of the data collection process. People who provide their name and email address will be contacted to schedule 30 minutes to a maximum of one-hour interview session.

Your participation in this study is greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance for being part of such important topic. To participate, please click on the survey link below to provide your demographics and contact information. This survey should only take 5 minutes of your time.

Survey Link:

Faisal Shehab BSc, MMI, PMP
Doctoral Candidate
IATF Member


Gladis Araujo

I would like to get in contact with Faisal Shehab
Please provide email address
I am also a doctoral student at University of Phoenix working in virtual teams environments professionally and for my dissertation
I live in Mexico but I work for a 6 billion usd global company headquarted in United States
Many thanks

Faisal Shehab

Hi Gladis,
Thank you so much for your intrest and completing the Survey. I will contact you on your email directly to answer your questions.

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