Despite the wide usage of globally dispersed virtual teams (VT), there has been relatively little research on how leadership affects team performance, particularly with new product development teams in a global VT setting. To test Quinn's (1988) Behavioral Complexity in Leadership Theory, a research model of VT leadership was developed and evaluated with confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling for a unique sample of 19 globally dispersed VTs and 25 nationally dispersed VTs in a variety of industries. Results showed that less geographically dispersed VT members have higher team performance only when leadership roles were performed effectively. In addition, leadership role effectiveness fully mediated the relationship between the number of team training sessions and team performance. Recommendations for academic researchers and practical implications were suggested.
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