Date of Conferral







David Bouvin


Considering the growing virtual workforce, it is important for people-managers to understand whether traditional management techniques produce increased engagement and greater productivity with a virtual population. Guided by James Heskett, W. Earl Sasser Jr., and Leonard Schlesinger's conceptual Service Profit Chain framework, this study focused on addressing the gap in contemporary literature related to management techniques that influence virtual employee engagement. Much of the current research provides a foundation for managing and engaging traditional office-based employees. To better understand which experientially-based management techniques influenced traditional employee engagement for a group of virtual employees, a qualitative descriptive phenomenological methodology was used to collect and analyze data to identify differences between traditional and virtual employee management techniques. Semi structured interviews with a criterion-based sample group of 13 study participants were conducted. Input from participants were analyzed using a thematic inductive approach to understand and categorize the experiential interactions between managers and their virtual employees, discover how those experiences were defined and whether those categorized experiences influenced engagement. The results of this study illustrated how increased communication, autonomy, development, clarity, and succinct goals can be employed as effective people-management strategies for this increasingly more diverse and growing population. The social implication of this research produced insight about how these experiences created a more engaged, better work/life-balanced, happier, and mentally healthier virtual workforce.