Predictors of the emergence of transformational leadership in virtual decision teams

Pierre A. Balthazard, David Waldman, John E. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


This study examined the etiology of transformational leadership in virtual team contexts. First, we compared 127 members of virtual decision-making teams with 135 members of traditional face-to-face teams in terms of the relationship between aspects of personality and the emergence of transformational leadership. The type of communication media (face-to-face versus "pure" virtual) was found to interact with extraversion and emotional stability in the prediction of emerging transformational leadership. In line with prior findings, we showed how these personality characteristics were relevant to transformational leadership emergence in our face-to-face teams. However, they were largely unrelated to such leadership in the virtual team context. We also focused specifically on the virtual context by analyzing the content of team interactions. After accounting for the effect of degree of activity level, the linguistic quality in one's written communication was found to predict the emergence of transformational leadership in virtual teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-663
Number of pages13
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • Emergent leadership
  • Personality
  • Shared leadership
  • Transformational leadership
  • Virtual teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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