Quantitative Design and Data Collection
BTM 7303, Assignment 9
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Susan Petroshius
4 December 2017
Introduction to Study
This paper is a brief examination of e-leadership and the accompanying communication challenges that twenty-first century e-leaders will encounter. E-leadership is an academic field of study that has emerged since the turn of the millennium (Savolainen, 2014) and one which involves organizational leadership of highly technological structures stretched over different cultures and geographic regions (Avolio, 2014). Savolainen (2014) noted that as the presence and capability of technology increases throughout the workforce, it places new demands on e-leaders in the specific area of communication.
Recent research has examined these communication challenges in a variety of workplace settings and, while several helpful conclusions have been reached, there are still areas left for further research to uncover.
Lilian (2014) studied e-leadership and the implementation of virtual teams to combat communication challenges e-leaders face due to geographic constraints. While virtual teams drastically increased growth potential in economic and organizational ways, it presented an entirely new set of communication challenges. Lilian (2014) also recognized that further research needs to be conducted on leadership of virtual teams to address further communication challenges. Chua (2017) studied e-leadership and communication in the educational realm, and developed an e-leadership model for education based upon interviews with administrators, teachers, students, parents, and software experts which were then coded and analyzed. Chua (2017) concluded that communication was essential to the core competencies of e-leadership, and further recognized that additional research on communication in e-leadership was needed in other locations and areas. Garcia (2014) researched the importance of e-leadership in the quality of virtual education, concluding that communication is essential to effective e-leadership and that virtual teams are an increasingly prevalent reality in virtual organizations. Furthermore, he concluded that virtual teams and their mediums of communication need to be studied more extensively. Jiang (2016) studied the effects of social media on e-leaders and their effectiveness in communication, concluding that a positive link existed between e-leaders use of social media and workplace communication. Further research was needed, however, in the relationship between e-leadership and online interaction. Finally, Kiesenbauer (2015) examined the communication challenges of e-leadership as they relate to public relations. Communication in e-leadership is essential, they concluded, to strengthening internal networks and also shaping the future of the profession itself. Further research is needed, however, in how to develop communications management in practice in the virtual workplace. In order to address these gaps in the existing literature, and build upon recent studies, the issue of effective modes of communication by e-leaders will be explored in this study.
The research problem being addressed in this study is this: which one mode of technological communication (electronic mail, telephonic conferencing, or video conferencing) employed by organizational e-leaders more frequently results in corresponding action by those within the organization?
The purpose of this study is to employ various modes of e-communication by the e-leader to team members within the organization and discover which mode more often produces the desired action of the leader by those team members who receive the e-communication. This purpose will be achieved by noting the imperative communicated by the e-leader and which communication medium was utilized. Then, the frequency with which the desired action was carried out by individual recipients will be noted along with the communication medium by which the imperative was received.
In addressing this research problem, three research questions will be asked and analyzed throughout this study. Each research question addresses a mode of e-communication from the e-leader and its correlation to the frequency of action taken by organizational team members. What is the correlation between the frequency of action by organizational team members when they are receive communication from the e-leader by electronic mail? What is the correlation between the frequency of action by organizational team members when they are receive communication from the e-leader by telephonic conferencing? What is the correlation between the frequency of action by organizational team members when they are receive communication from the e-leader by video conferencing?
Data Collection Method
In addressing these research questions, the data collection method used in this research will be sending out surveys to organizational team members. In examining existing literature on the subject, quantitative data is frequently collected by surveys (Jiang, 2016); (Patchanee, 2011); (Verma, 2016).
One of the primary benefits of quantitative data collection by surveys is ease of widespread data collection. Verma (2016) conducted online surveys using the “Google Docs” platform. This quantitative instrument was chosen due to the benefit of expediency – results were tabulated instantly – and convenience – large numbers of surveys could be conducted by the researcher without having to travel to physically conduct the surveys. In the case of this research, surveys provide a viable option of quantitative data collection in that each question could be answered by both e-leaders and team members in the study.
In this study, surveys will be given to those organizational team members who receive virtual communication from the e-leader. They will be asked to note by which method they received communication, what imperative was communicated, and what action they took as a result of the communication. These surveys will be sent and received electronically by the researcher. This allows for not only more data to be collected by the researcher than interviews or experiments, but also for quicker results.
Sample and Population
Participants in this research will come from five virtual not-for-profit organizations whose virtual team members are distributed over a multi-state region in the southeastern United States. Twenty workers will be chosen from each organization, constituting a sample size of one-hundred virtual team members and five e-leaders. Each e-leader will be given an imperative to communicate to their virtual team members, and will then record the mode of communication and the imperative communicated. Surveys will subsequently be distributed by the researcher, recorded, and then analyzed. This sample size provides a large enough population to draw conclusions about correlations between e-leader modes of communication and their successful translation to action by virtual team members.
While there are few ethical concerns associated with this study, protecting the individual identity of workers is a consideration of the researcher. In order to maintain anonymity, surveys will be coded by the organization (A, B, C, D, or E) and the number assigned to individual workers (1-100). In this way, quantitative data is still collected without risking any personal information about those involved in the research.
Avolio, B., Sosik, J., Kahai, S., Baker, B. (2014). "E-leadership: Re-examining transformations in leadership source and transmission". The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 105-131. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Chua, Y.P., & Chua, Y.P. (2017). How are e-leadership practices in implementing a school virtual learning environment enhanced? Computers & Education, 109, 109 –121. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Garcia, Ingrid. (2015). “Emergent leadership: Is e-leadership importance in the quality of virtual education?” RIED. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia. 18, 25-44. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Jiang, H., Luo, Y., & Kulemeka, O. (2016). ' Leading in the digital age: A study of how social media are transforming the work of communication professionals'. Telematics and Informatics 33, 493-499. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Kiesenbauer, J. & Zerfass, A. (2015). 'Today's and tomorrow's challenges in public relations: Comparing the views of chief communication officers and next generation leaders'. Public Relations Review, 41(4), 422-434. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Lilian, S.C. (2014). 'Virtual teams: opportunities and challenges for e-leaders'. Contemporary Issues in Business, Management and Education, 110, 1251 - 1261. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Patchanee, M. & Servaes, J. (2011). 'The media use of American youngsters in the age of narcissism: Surviving in a 24/7 media shock and awe – distracted by everything'. Telematics and Informatics, 28, 66-76. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Savolainen, T. (2014). Trust-Building in e-Leadership: A Case Study of Leaders' Challenges and Skills in Technology-Mediated Interaction. Journal of Global Business Issues, 8(2), 45-56. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Serban, A., Yammarino, F., Dionne, S., Kahai, S., Hao, C., McHugh, K., Sotak, K., Mushore, A., Friedrich, T., & Peterson, D. (2015) “Leadership emergence in face-to-face and virtual teams: A multi-level model with agent-based simulations, quasi-experimental and experimental tests”. The Leadership Quarterly 26 (2015) 402–418. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
Verma, P., Mohapatra, S., & Lowstedt, J. (2016). 'Ethics Training in the Indian IT Sector: Formal, Informal, or Both?' Journal of Business Ethics, 123(1), 73-93. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
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