Is it Me? Virtual Team Leader Self-Attribution & Responsibility Bias

By Velvet Weems-Landingham.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper looks at self-attribution and responsibility bias in attempts to understand virtual leaders’ acceptance of responsibility for team performances regardless of outcome. Knowledge, Skill, and Ability (KSA) required for teamwork within traditional contexts (Stevens and Campion, 1994) presumes leaders influence outcomes by enlisting self-management behaviors associated with: 1.) establishing specific, challenging and mutually accepted goals, 2.) monitoring, evaluating and providing feedback to members and teams, 3.) coordinating and synchronizing activities, information and tasks and 4.) establishing task assignments, roles and balancing workloads among members. Although leader self-management has clear links to performance, attribution error and bias can muddy the lines of responsibility allowing leaders to place unwarranted causal attributions upon themselves and others. Four main propositions, derived from self-management behaviors exhibited within virtual team research, are put forth to facilitate an exploration of the question: Is it me? An understanding of virtual leader self-attribution and responsibility bias promotes a greater awareness of those internal and external factors which truly impact virtual team performances. This knowledge has implications for: training and development; reduction of impact associated with external factors; organizational policies; leader self-efficacy; and member accountability and responsibility.

Keywords: Virtual Teamwork, Self-Attribution, Self-Management, Leadership, Responsibility Bias

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp.469-480. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.221MB).

Dr. Velvet Weems-Landingham

Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Information Systems, Kent State University, Burton, Ohio, USA

Velvet Weems-Landingham, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor at Kent State University - USA. Her dissertation work, entitled: The Role of Project Manager and Team Member Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) in Virtual Team Effectiveness, was completed at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management in 2004. Dr. Weems-Landingham has taught over a dozen courses at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. In addition, she possesses more than a decade of experience designing, developing, and managing distance learning initiatives within a wide array of organizations, ranging from pharmaceuticals and hospitals to manufacturing and not-for-profit agencies.


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