Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Dorothy M. Hanson
Managers' ability to engage virtual employees (those in different geographic locations) is a determining factor of employee productivity and commitment to an organization. Since 2005, the number of U.S.-based virtual employees increased; however, research regarding virtual communication and employee engagement is limited. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine if a significant correlation exists between employee engagement (the dependent variable) and the quantity and perceived quality of virtual management communication (the independent variables). The research question assessed the correlation among the quantity of time managers spend communicating with virtual employees, quality of virtual communication, and employee engagement. Homans's social exchange theory served as the theoretical framework. Data collection involved an online survey from 71 U.S.-based virtual employees, working primarily from home. The results of the regression analysis were statistically significant, F(2, 67) = 7.14, p = .002, R2 = .18, indicating that quantity of time a manager a spent communicating with virtual employees and the virtual employees' perceived quality of communication positively affected employee engagement. Findings indicated that managers who communicate more frequently and have a higher perceived quality of communication are more likely to have engaged employees. Business leaders can use this study to inform managers of the need for frequent, high-quality communication with their virtual employees. The findings will contribute to social change by providing organizational leaders with useful strategic information to increase the employee engagement of home-based virtual employees.