Leading Virtual Project Teams: Adapting Leadership Theories and Communications Techniques to 21st Century Organizations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Leading Virtual Project Teams

Adapting Leadership Theories and Communications Techniques to 21st Century Organizations, 1st Edition

By Margaret R. Lee

Auerbach Publications

217 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466576889
pub: 2013-07-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429188442
pub: 2016-04-19
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In a 1945 speech, Winston Churchill stated, "We are shaping the world faster than we can change ourselves, and we are applying to the present the habits of the past." Was Churchill predicting the future of project management? Have we changed how we communicate and lead projects? Have leadership and management theories and models evolved to keep pace with today’s business environment?

Leading Virtual Project Teams: Adapting Leadership Theories and Communications Techniques to 21st Century Organizations addresses the challenges the virtual project management environment poses to traditional methods of leadership and communication. It introduces new approaches for adapting existing leadership theories to e-leadership as well as progressive tools and techniques to improve virtual project communications.

The book begins by examining the factors affecting the movement from traditional work environments to virtual organizations. It considers the challenges of leading multicultural, global organizations and reviews what e-leadership means. Illustrating the application of both traditional and new leadership models and theories to virtual project management, the book includes best practices for:

  • Managing and motivating the multicultural team
  • Communicating in a distributed work environment
  • Avoiding social isolation
  • Cyber-bullying in the virtual environment and e-ethics
  • Cultural management issues

Explaining how traditional leadership theories and models can be applied to contemporary projects, the book details methods virtual project managers can use to enhance virtual communications. The final chapter describes the e-leadership skills and competencies project managers will need to ensure sustainable success in today’s competitive business environment.

This book provides the virtual project manager with the tools and techniques to improve e-leadership and communications. Complete with case studies that illustrate real-world applications to the virtual challenges presented in each chapter, the book is a suitable text for educational institutions looking to increase understanding of project management leadership and communications outside the traditional project environment.

Table of Contents


Virtual Terminology

Factors Affecting the Movement from Traditional Work Environments to Virtual Organizations

Challenges of Leading in Virtual Organizations

Looking Ahead: The Application of Traditional Leadership Models and Theories to Virtual Project Management


e-Leadership for Projects


Defining e-Leadership

Application of Traditional Leadership Models and Theories to Virtual Project Management

Control-Related Leadership

Leadership through Empowerment

Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles

Contingency School of Leadership

Situational Leadership Styles

Decision Tree Approach

Agile Project Management

Servant Leadership and Grateful Leadership

Models of Team Development

The ARCS Model

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Extreme Agility

Negative e-Leadership Approaches

Authoritarian Leadership Style

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Leader–Member Exchange Theory

Moving toward Multiple e-Leadership Styles

Benefits of Multiple Leadership Styles in Virtual Projects

Looking Ahead: Current Approaches to Virtual Communications

Food for Thought



Case Study References

Enhancing Virtual Project Communications

Understanding Project Communications

e-Leadership for Virtual Project Communications

Planning for Project Communications

Communications Plan

Various Approaches to Virtual Communication

Different Methods

Tools and Techniques to Enhance Communications for Virtual Organizations

Communications Technology

Virtual Etiquette

Sharing Knowledge

Communicating in a Nonverbal World

Best Practice Approaches

Face-to-Face Communications

Teleconferences and Telephone Calls

Collaboration Tools

Using Multiple Leadership Styles to Communicate to Distributed Teams

Situational Communication Styles

Servant Leadership Communication

Communication with Empowerment

Entrepreneurial Leadership Communication Skills

Looking Ahead: Cultural Communication Issues and Effective e-Leadership

Food for Thought



Case Study Reference

Cultural Communication Issues and Effective e-Leadership

Understanding Culture

Primary Dimensions of Culture

Individualistic versus Collectivistic Cultures

Low-Context versus High-Context Cultures

Low-Power Distance versus High-Power Distance Cultures

Masculine versus Feminine Cultures

Monochronic versus Polychronic Cultures

Low Uncertainty Avoidance versus High Uncertainty Avoidance Cultures

Cultures within the Organization

Organizational Culture

Team Culture

Boundary Crossing

Project Management Cultures

Culture of the Virtual Nomad

Integrating Organizational and National Cultures

Integrating Cultures

Leading the Integrated Culture

Globalization and Communications

Barriers to Globalization

Communicating across Cultures

Cultural Fluency

Use of Language and Words

Communicating across Time Zones

Deadlines and Urgency Issues

Age Discrimination as Cultural Awareness

Religious Considerations in the Multicultural Team

Second Language Concerns

Flexibility in Communicating with Multicultural Teams

Looking Ahead: e-Leadership Competencies


Case Study Reference


Virtual Project Leadership Competencies

Competencies in Project Management

Virtual Project Management Competencies

Competencies for Leading Virtual Projects

Focusing on the Vision of the Project

Clarity of Virtual Structure and Processes

Team Charter

Code of Conduct

Monitoring and Controlling the Virtual Project

Project Meetings

Status Reporting and Accountability

Managing the Virtual Team

Building Team Cohesiveness Virtually

Motivating the Virtual Team

Types of Motivators


Empowering the Team

Relationship Building and Trust

Managing Social Isolation

Politics and Cyberbullying in the Virtual Environment

Indicators of Inappropriate Virtual Team Member "Fit"





About the Author


Margaret R. Lee, PhD, PMP®, has a doctorate in organization and management/project management from Capella University and is principal for LEE Consultants. Lee’s consulting practice assists educational facilities in strategically planning virtual project management and e-leadership development curricula and also provides basic project management training and consultation for small businesses to international corporations.

LEE Consultants is a Registered Education Provider (REP) for the Project Management Institute (PMI). Lee’s professional experience includes corporate trainer, instructional designer, and project manager. She currently teaches at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, and Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois. She also teaches online for Florida Institute of Technology and the University of Northwestern Ohio and is a frequent guest presenter at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Fluno Center for Executive Education and for Project Management Institute chapters throughout the United States.

Lee is a referee for the International Journal of Project Management, is on the editorial review board for the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, and was a reviewer for the 2012 PMI’s Research & Education Conference. An active member of the PMI Central Illinois chapter, she is a facilitator for their Springfield, Illinois, division’s PMP Exam Review Course Certification Training. Her recent presentations include "Using Discussion Forum Rubrics as a Teaching Strategy to Enhance Collaborative Learning in Online Courses" at the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (ACCE) World Conference on Educational Media and Technology; "Stakeholder Management" for the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Business Fluno Center for Executive Education; and "Moving beyond the Ordinary Project Management Curriculum at the Graduate Level" as a panel symposium member at the PMI’s Research and Education Conference.

Lee’s articles can be found in the Journal of Project, Program and Portfolio Management, Special Issue: Project Management Education in the Online World; Roadmap—Project Portfolio Management in Project Management Consulting Journeys, Destinations, and the Best Paths to Take; Training and Management Development Methods; International Journal of Project Management; and International Journal of Aging and Development: A Journal of Psychosocial Gerontology. She has published chapters in the following texts: Project Management; Public Leadership; and Encyclopedia of E-Business Development and Management in the Digital Economy, Volume II.

The Project Management Professional® (PMP®) designation is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

About the Series

Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology