Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Nonprofit leaders often place new employees with little experience in challenging virtual team settings, where they are expected to meet increased service demands. Productivity failures reported in the 2015 State of the Nonprofit Sector survey revealed that 76% of U.S. nonprofit agencies experienced increased demand for services in 2014, while 52% were unable to meet those demands. Based on the e-leadership and leader-member exchange (LMX) theories, the purpose of this descriptive, single case study was to identify the leadership strategies used by nonprofit midlevel supervisors to increase productivity of virtual teams containing new employees in Colorado. A purposeful sampling method facilitated identification of participants who had experience using successful leadership strategies to increase virtual team productivity. Data were collected through face-to-face semistructured interviews with 6 virtual team leaders and the review of organizational documents that contained weekly, executive leadership minutes over a period of 25 months. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and word frequency searches. Three themes emerged related to increasing virtual team productivity: formal and informal staff support improved productivity, cohesive team dynamics improved productivity, and effective virtual staff mobility facilitated fieldwork. Human service nonprofit leaders who are proficient with virtual team leadership strategies could increase team productivity and meaningfully advance the use of virtual teams across the industry. Increasing nonprofit, virtual team productivity contributes to social change by meeting increased service demands in underserved communities and enhancing nonprofit employees' work experiences for continued support of the nonprofit mission.