Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

David Gould

Abstract

Employing a virtual workforce has become a common practice among technically advanced and globally competitive organizations. Yet there is limited information regarding factors that affect job satisfaction and work outcomes of virtual workers. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to address the problem by exploring the lived experiences of virtual workers. Principles of Banduraâ??s self-efficacy theory and Maslowâ??s needs theory formed the conceptual framework. Babbieâ??s sampling strategy and social media were used to obtain 26 participants among the target population of virtual workers. By distributing an online questionnaire, data were collected and analyzed through open coding techniques. As the data were analyzed, common themes emerged. The themes affecting job satisfaction of virtual workers included work and life balance, isolation and belonging, flexibility, resource efficiency, and trust and respect. The themes affecting work outcomes of virtual workers included training and technical support, communication, and workplace distractions. Findings indicated that job satisfaction and work outcomes might vary according to the self-efficacy level, needs, and virtual competencies of the individual virtual worker. Findings may contribute to positive social change by educating individuals on the benefits and challenges of the virtual workplace. Managers may reference the study outcomes when seeking to improve hiring processes, enhance training and technological support, and assess relevant virtual competencies. Employees may consider the study outcomes when determining whether virtual work arrangements align with their professional and personal goals.

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