Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Hedy Dexter

Abstract

Virtual-team professionals have reported experiencing low job satisfaction due to lack of face-to-face interaction leading to stress, miscommunication, and role-confusion. Dissatisfaction among virtual teams has increased turnover and management costs for organizations. Despite these known associations, there was a gap in the literature investigating efficient leadership practices to improve job satisfaction for highly skilled virtual teams. Participative leadership offers an effective approach to increase job satisfaction among face-to-face teams and innovative teams. This study explored the relationship between participative leadership and job satisfaction among highly skilled virtual teams within the global software industry. A quantitative study with a correlational design was utilized among 173 participants from the International Association for Software Architects. Participants took a voluntary online survey by responding to an invitation post on the group LinkedIn page. The questionnaire included participative leadership scale (Ismail, Zainuddin, & Ibrahim, 2010), job satisfaction scale (Wall, Cook, & Warr, 1979), and demographic questions. Correlation analysis indicated that there was a positive relationship between participative leadership and job satisfaction, r(172) = .67, p < .001. Regression analysis revealed that job position had a control effect on job satisfaction, F(2, 170) = 89.46, p < .001, R2 = .51. Higher-ranked professionals enjoyed higher job satisfaction when participative leadership was present. Study results are beneficial for global software organizations to streamline leadership practices for highly skilled virtual teams to ensure high levels of job satisfaction. Ensuring high job satisfaction among skilled global talent helps innovative organizations cut costs, increase competitive advantage, and ensure high work quality.