TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION, vol.17, no.3, pp.136-156, 2016 (ESCI)
Globalization being one of the most popular terms of recent years is considered as a factor changing the operation styles of the companies. Companies and universities opened up to the world with the globalization and as a result of it, they had the opportunity of being a world brand. Now, some companies have affiliated companies in almost every country. Well, if we think about time and place difference how do these companies lead the affiliated companies in various locations of the world? This question resulted in the new leadership approach, virtual leadership. The process of distance learning beginning with newspaper advertisement appears as virtual learning now. A number of companies and universities provide distance learning classes and in-service training in virtual platform via Internet. These trainings provided independently from time and space are conducted in a country and worldwide sometimes. If we consider individuals in different time and environments as virtual teams, dealing with these virtual teams is the duty of virtual leader. The purpose of this study is to examine virtual leadership perception of distance learning teams. Three trivets are in question for distance learning teams. The first one is the academicians lecturing the second one is the students and the third one is coordinator and technical support team. Perceptions of virtual leader of the said three groups were examined individually in this study. The major findings are about who the virtual leader is and what properties virtual leader should bear. The virtual leader is, anyone inside the team for academicians, manager for technical support team and teacher for students. The most important ability for virtual leader is communication skills. In this study, there are different perspectives about virtual leader and leadership at distance education teams.