Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Mary Ann Von Glinow

First Advisor's Title

Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joyce J. Elam

Second Advisor's Title

Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Ronald M. Lee

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dasaratha Rama

Keywords

Leadership, organizational Culture, Workplace Deviance, Technology Deviance, Organizational Justice, Employee Virtuality

Date of Defense

7-14-2009

Abstract

Recent studies found that organizations have been investing significant capital in developing teams and employees in geographic areas where labor and resources are considerably cheaper. Furthermore, organizations are moving core operational activities such as research and development and back-office processes to globally distributed teams.

However, several factors that are inherent to these virtual teams can have a negative impact on employee perceptions and engagement; specifically, the physical and temporal differences between employees and their supervisors, the lack of meaningful social interaction intrinsic to working relationships, and cultural biases that can be fostered when close, daily interactions is not there to help bridge the dissimilarity.

When strategies are not in place to mitigate these deficiencies, it can cause virtual employees to disengage emotionally and intellectually from the organization, or lead them to feel justified in working against the best interest of the company.

Past research indicates that although deviant behavior in the workplace is not new, transgressions committed by employees have been increasing significantly every year. Beyond the focus of why employees are motivated to act against the organization, to what extent do the recent changes to the organization’s structure influence this type of behavior through their actions at the macro (organizational) and micro level (leadership).

In addition, there is a related phenomenon that has aided the transformation of the workplace – namely, the ubiquity of technology. In the context of workplace deviance, established research has documented an increasing trend of employees utilizing company technology as a medium and amplifier when harming the organization. It is important to understand whether technology has facilitated or hindered workplace deviance by virtue of the technology itself (as a means), and as part of the new employee roles created by the evolving technology (i.e, virtual employees). Therefore, it is important to identify how individual attitudes and behaviors can be affected by an employee’s degree of virtuality.

This study will add to the understanding of how social interaction and physical proximity, leadership and other perception factors contribute to the changes organizations are experiencing as their structure evolves and adapts to compete in the new global environment.

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