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

Leading Virtual Project Teams
Adapting Leadership Theories and Communications Techniques to 21st Century Organizations

ISBN 9781466576889
Published July 29, 2013 by Auerbach Publications
217 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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"

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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.

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Author - Margaret Ruth Lee

Margaret Ruth Lee

Principal, LEE Consultants, LEE Consultants
Elkhart, Illinois, United States

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