ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF MEDIA RICHNESS AND LEADERSHIP BEHAVIORS ON TEAM-BASED OUTCOMES

Open Access
Author:
Jefferson, Tyrone
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 20, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Susan Mohammed, Dissertation Advisor
  • Susan Mohammed, Committee Chair
  • Michael David Mcneese, Committee Member
  • James Lewis Farr, Committee Member
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • metacognition
  • teamwork
  • problem-solving
  • leadership behaviors
  • virtual teams
  • psychological safety
Abstract:
Much of the research examining the use of virtual teams has been shown to contain some inconsistencies that have led to a poor understanding of how these teams should be set-up and implemented, for what types of problems these teams should be used, and in what instances they would be maximally effective. The present research addresses these literature gaps by examining the influence of a continuum of virtuality, including text-based, video-mediated, and face- to- face communications on team-based outcomes. In addition, the present study examined different leadership methods for improving teamwork quality, team metacognition, team psychological safety and problem-solving ability across virtuality conditions. The present study included 208 ad-hoc triads working together in one of the three media richness conditions. Teams then received a leadership manipulation (centralized or decentralized) and were asked to complete video-based and text-based problem-solving tasks. The results of this study provide empirical support for the theory of media richness for team problem-solving performance; indicating that teams working together using technologies with higher amounts of media richness would have better problem-solving performance when compared to teams working together using technologies with lower media richness. Neither the centralized leadership behaviors, nor the decentralized leadership behaviors influenced team ratings of their teamwork quality or team metacognition, leading the present research to theorize potential reasons for this incongruence. However, across all conditions of media richness, teams using centralized leadership were found to have better problem-solving performance than teams in the decentralized leadership condition.