The relationship between managers and employees in a virtual context
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Introduction: In today’s global work environment, virtual work has become a useful concept for companies to expand and reach markets around the world. This work setting has both its benefits and challenges for the managers the employees. Those who work virtually are forced to overcome hinders such as lack of face-to-face interaction, time differences and difficulties with communication tools. This is something that managers of virtual teams must handle. They also have to find ways of creating and maintaining their individual relationships with their employees, which can be a challenge due to the geographical distance. Leader-member exchange (LMX) is an established theory that focuses on the manager-employee relationship.
Purpose: The purpose for this study is to see if a geographical distance between managers and employees may influence the LMX relationships at the Marketing department, SDE, Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB. We also aimed to investigate what can influence the quality of the LMX relationship and if there are any possible improvements that can be done to enhance the relationship.
Method: In this study, a qualitative method was used. Totally 13 semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers, employees located abroad and in Örebro. The interviews were conducted in person or by Skype. For the analysis of the empirical material gathered, the theory of LMX was used.
Result: The results in this study suggest that the managers and employees in some cases have different opinions about the virtual work and their relationships. There were also different factors that were found to influence LMX.
Conclusion: The relationship can be influenced by the geographical distance but it is not only the distance that influences the LMX relationship between managers and employees working virtually at Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB; there are also differences in culture, personality and language that were seen to have an effect on the relationship. Some improvements can be done to enhance the LMX relationship.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 56 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-27273ISRN: ORU-HHS/FEK-GK-2013/0007--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-27273DiVA: diva2:602830
Subject / course
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Langlott, Peter, Universitetsadjunkt
Nilsson, Kerstin, Universitetsadjunkt