Player-founded organizations, or guilds, within massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) are complex social entities with organizational forms that mirror real-world companies. These guilds require leaders who possess a diverse array of skills. Examples of the skills required read like the introductory course of a business management degree – mediating conflict, planning, controlling, motivating. These skills are important - just as with real-world companies, failures on the part of leaders may explain the high degree of guild failures witnessed. The purpose of this purpose of this dissertation is to explore how relationships between leaders and members within this completely computer-mediated and synchronous environment affect member outcomes within guilds. I discuss how an exploratory study informs the choice of leader-member exchange theory to underpin this dissertation, develop a testable model which seeks to explain how relationship quality between leaders and members affects member outcomes as mediated by relational capital and the allocation of resources, and explain how this model will be operationalized and tested.
Goh, Samuel H., "Leadership in Action: The Effects of Leader-Member Exchange on Outcomes within Virtual Organizations" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Doctoral Consortium. 7.