Journal Club: The Effects of Leader-Member Exchange on Member Performance in Virtual World Teams
Wednesday, April 1 at 1 p.m. EST
About this Research
Understanding the role of leadership in virtual world teams may help shed light on how to manage synchronous and highly interdependent work activities. Based upon leader-member exchange (LMX) theory, we propose that the relationship between a leader and a team member (LMX) influences:
- The degree to which a team member is allocated resources by the leader (empowerment and group assignments)
- The degree to which a team member develops relational resources with the team (trust, obligation, norms, and identification)
- The extent to which a team member receives or develops resources results in higher levels of individual performance
Our findings from a longitudinal field study of one large virtual world team in the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) EverQuest suggest that the leader member relationship does impact members’ allocation and development of resources, and that it’s not just the quantity of members’ resources, but also the type of member resources, that has a direct influence on performance. Our findings also indicate that the influence of the leader-member relationship on member performance is fully mediated by the allocation and development of resources.
Surprisingly, there was no relationship between LMX, trust, and performance, which suggests that trust may not be as vital in virtual teams where everyone’s actions are visible. Lastly, the findings suggest that building relational capital to facilitate the transformation from self to collective interest may be an effective leadership tactic when managing large virtual teams or social collectives.
About the Authors
Samuel Goh is an assistant professor in the Department of Business Informatics at Northern Kentucky University. He earned his M.B.A from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his Ph.D. from Florida State University. His industry experience includes eight years as an IT Analyst and Systems Administrator, during which time he earned MCSA/MCSE/CCNA certifications. Research interests include IT adoption, leadership in virtual teams, avatar-based communications, and applications of serious gaming. His research has been presented at AMCIS, HICSS, and, AOM, and published in JAIS and IJSODIT. He has served as mini/track chairs at AMCIS and ICIS, and is the faculty advisor for the Business Informatics Group (BIG) student group at NKU. Teaching interests include database, data communications, and data analytics.
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