Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Bisk College of Business

First Advisor

Abram L. J. Walton

Second Advisor

Charles E. Bryant

Third Advisor

Jignya M. Patel

Fourth Advisor

Jessica L. Wildman


Historical events such as industrialization, the advent of computers, and the dawn of the internet have consistently impacted the employee workforce and created risks and opportunities for increased performance and quality of work life (QWL) (Guest, 2014; O’Halloran, 2015). Modern worldwide businesses are increasingly turning to virtual team members (VTMs) to create efficiencies, lower costs, and adapt to the changing implications of the COVID-19 and worker environment (Garro-Abarca, Palos-Sanchez, & Aguayo-Camacho, 2021). At this intersection between global change and altering work practices, the VTM faces changing societal views on QWL. Therefore, the individual VTM is the unit of analysis and the study’s focal point. This exploratory sequential mixed methods research aims to demonstrate the existence of QWL-based subgroups, define and explain the significance of the formation of QWL-based subgroups on VTM performance, define high-functioning VTMs, and seeks to test whether QWL-based subgroups outperform VTMs that do not have a subgroup component. Finally, this study utilizes the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database to characterize specific virtual employee job descriptors using workplace essential (WPE) skills and general work activities (GWAs) (Lund, Madgavkar, Manyika, & Smit, 2020). The data for this exploratory sequential mixed methods study is collected using 30 semi-structured qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey using a population of 393 VTMs. This study demonstrates that QWL-based subgroups exist, and legacy and new VTM-specific QWL needs, such as mission increase VTM performance. By examining VTM QWL-based subgroup formation and performance, this study demonstrates how the modern VT environment has led to VTMs adapting to a new dynamic QWL environment and how this impacts performance.


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