Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


Virtual Team Performance Depends on Distributed Leadership


Nico van Dijk




In this paper we present a detailed analysis of World of Warcraft virtual team collaboration. A number of competitive synchronous virtual teams were investigated in-situ and unobtrusively. We observed a large gap in team performance between the various teams. An initial statistic study showed that, in teams of this level, individual player performance was not the primary driver for the large discrepancy in team performance. This led to the argument that differences in intra-team collaboration and communication might be a significant driver for the discrepancy in team performance. In total 16 hours of audio recordings of gaming sessions of virtual teams were analyzed. The analysis indicates that distributed leadership instead of authoritative leadership is more common in successful synchronous virtual teams.

Full Reference

Nico van Dijk, "Virtual Team Performance Depends on Distributed Leadership", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2010