Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Purpose: The purpose of this Delphi study was to determine the factors IT management experts identify as necessary for healthcare employees to reach positive decision outcomes in virtual workplaces, to rate the importance of the identified factors, and to determine the practices IT management experts recommend for implementation for the five most important factors. Methodology: This study used a Delphi method that consisted of three rounds to collect data from 15 IT management professionals who are experts in leading virtual teams at Southern California hospitals. In Round 1, participants were asked to identify the factors healthcare employees need to reach positive decision outcomes. In Round 2, a Likert scale survey was used to rate the importance of the factors identified in Round 1. In Round 3, expert panelists provided practices to implement the five highest-rated factors identified in the previous round. Findings: The expert panelists identified 22 important factors that healthcare employees need to reach positive decision outcomes in virtual work environments. The factors were ranked to produce a list of the top six most important factors: (1) clear, transparent communication and feedback; (2) leadership that models expectations; (3) openness/general psychological safety to voice thoughts, make decisions; (4) strong interpersonal relationships and feelings of trust; (5) clear pathway toward conflict resolution established; and (6) intentional celebration and/or team member recognition. The expert panel recommended 58 practices to support the successful implementation of the top 6 ranked factors. Conclusions: This study amplified the complexities between technology and social structures and interactions amongst healthcare employees in telework environments. First, a variety of factors are needed for healthcare employees to reach positive decision outcomes in virtual workplaces. Furthermore, the leader has a critical influence on these factors and more specifically, on helping employees successfully navigate telework environments. Finally, the successful implementation of the most important factors is best achieved by several practices happening concurrently. Recommendations: Based on this study’s findings, six recommendations were presented for further research to advance the literature on the factors necessary to ensure employees excel in telework environments.
Smith, Ashley Carlin, "Excelling in Telework: A Delphi Study" (2021). Dissertations. 421.