Date of Conferral
Dr. Carol Wells
Some managers tend to resist virtual work and find it challenging to manage the productivity of subordinates working virtually. This phenomenological study examined managers' perceptions of subordinate productivity in virtual work arrangements. Adaptive structuration theory and McGregor's X and Y theory guided this study. The primary research questions focused on the managers' perceptions of worker productivity in virtual work arrangements and the related challenges. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 40 business managers responsible for overseeing the productivity of virtual workers. The study was conducted in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area. Utilizing the Stevick'Colaizzi'Keen method of data analysis, 3 primary themes emerged: (a) subordinate productivity was not negatively affected by the use of virtual work arrangements, (b) virtual work arrangements posed challenges for managers responsible for overseeing virtual worker productivity with the lack of face'to'face interaction identified as the most significant, and (c) there was managerial support for the use of virtual work arrangements. Social change implications, given the findings, include an increased awareness of worker productivity in virtual work arrangements, which could lead to increased opportunities for individuals to work in a virtual setting. The increase in virtual work arrangements benefits society by reducing fuel consumption, road congestion, and related pollutants. Organizational leaders can use the findings from the study to develop business strategies to sustain virtual worker productivity and address the related challenges to improve the quality of life for managers of virtual workers.