CCE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Yair Levy

Committee Member

Maxine S Cohen

Committee Member

Ling Wang


The majority of database system development projects end in failure. Reasons that include, the system not being developed on time, the system was developed over budget, and the system developed did not meet the planned project's criteria. These failures are compounded by the use of virtual teams which includes problems with team formation, the organizational environment in which the team operates, and the technology used for collaboration and communication. As more organizations use virtual teams, these problems have continued to impede the successful completion of database system development. The goal of the study was to determine what leadership type, transformational, transactional, or management-by-exception (passive-avoidant leadership) is most effective in leading a virtual team in developing a database management system. The target population for this study was Generation Y students at the Maine Business School who were assigned to virtual teams tasked with developing a database management system. Specifically this study answered these three research questions: 1) What is the effect of leadership type, as self-reported through the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire on the quality of completed team projects? 2) What is the impact of type of leadership on virtual team effectiveness as measured by the Virtual Teams Survey? 3) What is the joint effect of type of leadership, and virtual team effectiveness on the quality and uniqueness of the completed team project? Virtual team effectiveness was defined as the level of involvement in team formation, job characteristics, technical proficiency of team members, relationship between team members, teams process and attributes about the team leader, organizational environment in which the team operates, and technology the team used for collaboration and communication. The quality of the completed team project was defined as one that meets the team project criteria which included tables, relationships, forms, queries, and reports. Other attributes included the uniqueness of product defined by the addition of extra functions and controls added to the database system that go above and beyond the project criteria. The study found that for research question 1, only transformational and transactional leadership types had a significant and negative impact on the quality of completed team projects. Research question 2 found no significant correlation between leadership type and virtual team effectiveness. Research question 3 showed that none of the variables were significantly associated with the quality of the completed team project. These findings suggest that traditional concepts of leadership types do not work well in virtual environments.

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