Date of Submission

Spring 4-26-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Susan Raines

Committee Member

Sheb True

Committee Member

Darina Lepadatu

Committee Member

Christopher Pallas


Recently, some corporations, such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Yahoo!, decided to end their remote working policies. While this policy change caused major tension and disruption within, organizations still trumpeted this change, arguing that it would improve collaboration and communication. In order to resolve the potential conflict, this study assessed the effectiveness of their recently changed practice, the elimination of remote working policies. The review of literature, however, determined that this decision did not have enough scholarly-based support due to limitations of the current literature, such as a lack of agreement in conceptualizing virtuality, lack of studies that perceived virtuality in a continuous dimension, and missing the contextual aspect of teams in conceptualizing virtuality. These limitations indicated that multinational organizations were taking a big financial risk as well as creating unnecessary organizational conflict. Therefore, this study set its goals (1) to examine how variations in virtuality and diversity affect team processes and outcomes and (2) to overcome the challenges of diverse virtual teams with a focus on leadership. This study used an experimental design with both quantitative and qualitative methods. Based on 223 surveys and 23 semi-structured interviews, the findings show that the effect of the policy depends on the organization and the individuals comprising specific teams. This means organizations need to first consider the level of diversity in their teams, as well as the actual degree of virtuality employed by teams, in order to make sure that any policy change helps rather than hurts. This study also revealed that the meta-communication tasks, which the teams employing a higher degree of virtuality often choose to undertake, are more important than the medium through which teams carry out their work. Consequently, this research concluded that a mere policy change involving virtuality was not effective in dealing with challenges to team collaboration and recommended organizations to train their leaders with the list of behaviors that this study found to be helpful to reduce the challenges.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 24, 2024