This paper discusses a “research in progress” study. Exploratory research is presently being conducted to learn more about the role of leadership in distributed teams. Thirteen distributed teams are being studied over a period of fifteen weeks. Each team consists of four members. The participants in the study are distance learners in an executive MBA program. The study will combine qualitative and quantitative research methods to address the following questions: Are there common characteristics associated with leadership emergence in distributed teams (e.g., trust)?; What strategies (e.g., communication behaviors) do emerging leaders use to establish leadership and lead others in a distributed environment?; and Do leadership characteristics have an impact on distributed team performance?
Tyran, Craig K.; Shepherd, Morgan; and Lewis, Kristi M., "Leadership in Virtual Teams: An Exploratory Study" (2000). AMCIS 2000 Proceedings. 215.