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  • 1. AN EXAMINATION OF TRUST AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO PRODUCTIVITY, EFFECTIVENESS, AND CORPORATE CULTURE IN VIRTUAL TEAMS John Karpiscak, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center Jean Gordon, Capella University Toni Buchsbaum Greif, Sound Beach LLC & Capella University Steven Callahan, The Robert E. Nolan Company Lee StJohn, Sound Beach LLC & Capella University ABSTRACT Based on Sarker’s research (Sarker, Valacich, & Sarker, 2003), a quantitative survey instrument wasadministered to employees of three companies within the insurance industry that utilize virtual teams as part of theirbusiness operations. Results indicated a direct relationship between corporate culture and the observed levels of trustas well as an extension of corporate culture into the virtual environment. Findings indicated that corporate culturedirectly affects personality, institutional and cognitive based trust, and, therefore, the effectiveness of virtual teams.By improving corporate culture with respect to the three modes of trust, the level of productivity and effectivenesswithin virtual teams is improved; conversely, if corporate culture remains static or declines, trust and effectivenesswithin virtual teams similarly remain static and/or decline. With the rapid expansion in the use of virtual teamsacross business operations, it is paramount for management to assess and address deficiencies in the associatedcultural elements that foster trust as a means to increase productivity and effectiveness. INTRODUCTION This research espoused the theory that personality, institutional, and cognitive based trustinfluences corporate culture (Sarker, Valacich, & Sarker, 2003) and directly relates toeffectiveness and productivity of virtual teams (Zucher, Darby, Brewer & Peng, 1996). Theresearchers proposed that positive influences of corporate culture positively affect companyvirtual team trust, efficiency, and productivity; conversely, negative influences create negativeimpacts. This serves as additional validation of Ernst (2001), who determined that performancegaps are present between organizations despite their seemingly identical formal organizationalstructures. In addition, based upon the findings of this research, corporate culture and itsassociated elements of trust, appear related to the generation of these performance gaps. CORPORATE CULTURE Organizational culture represents the shared values and beliefs that influence themember’s of an organization’s presentation, behavior, and interactions (Schein, 2004). Culturetranslates its reflection of an organizational member’s level of engagement, satisfaction, andcommitment expressed in the form of collaborative personality (Harris & Mossholder, 1996;Sims, 2000). From a performance perspective, culture directly links to the effectiveness of theorganization (Berrio, 2003; Lamond, 2003) and by providing the management framework may infact be a stronger influence than leadership itself (Pool, 2000). Corporate culture lies at the heart 1
  • 2. of strategy (Bolman & Deal, 2008), acting as a catalyst to drive performance or to create a stifledenvironment based on the resulting shared value system (Lamond; Morgan, 1993). With respectto virtual teams, the lack of physical proximity provides a complicating factor that may bemeasurable based on the degree of trust that exists. In evaluating the relationship between trust and culture in virtual teams, a commonframework is necessary. Deal and Kennedy (1982) as well as Hofstede (1991) describe variousmeasurement sets for evaluating corporate culture. Deal and Kennedy (1982) use thirty-twovariables to describe corporate culture while Hofstede (1991) uses thirty-six variables; each setof measurements contain a different orientation. Hofstede’s research in particular has held upunder the rigors of review and replication, acting as a basis for comparison to alternative scaleseven in contemporary research (King, 2007; Maznevski, Distefano, Gomez, Noorderhaven, &Wu, 2002; Sondergaard, 1994). The difficulty in applying these descriptions within anorganizational context is that their influences tend to vary from industry-to-industry; affected byenvironmental factors, such as national and regional social cultures. Given the predisposition ofcorporate culture as a reflection of national culture (Schneider and Constance, 1987) thisresearch focuses at the national level without substantive consideration of potential localizedinfluences. The basis for the framework used to evaluate the impact of trust on virtual teams will beDeal and Kennedy’s (1982) work, which uses thirty-two descriptive variables categorized intosix meta-groups: history, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, stories, heroic figures, andinformal cultural network. These six meta-groups combined form four cultural constructs: work-hard, play hard; tough-guy macho; process; and, bet-the-company (Deal & Kennedy). The work-hard, play-hard culture manifests as having a rapid feedback/reward cycle with relatively lowrisk, leading to stressors originating from the quantity of work, rather than uncertainty. The high-speed action of this culture leads to high-speed re-creation typically found in restaurants andsoftware companies. The tough-guy macho culture identifies itself as having a rapidfeedback/reward cycle operating in a high-risk environment. The high-risk nature of this cultureleads to stressors originating from the potential loss/gain of reward. These cultures focus on thepresent rather than the longer-term, with typical examples including police units, surgeons, andsports participants. In the third construct, known as the process culture, there is a slowfeedback/reward cycle and relatively low risk. The slow cycle and low risk leads to work thatlabeled as plodding which provides a sense of comfort and security. In this culture, stressors mayarise from internal politics and/or frustration with systemic issues perceived as unnecessary orcounterproductive. The process culture tends to be bureaucratic in nature, concerned withmaintaining the status quo while ensuring the security of the past and future. Process culturestypically operate in national governments, banks, and insurance companies. The last culturalconstruct is the bet-the-company culture. This culture has a slow feedback/ reward cycle andfunctions amidst high risk. Stressors arise from the elements of high risk combined with theextended delays that occur before it is clear if the actions taken have generated the expectedresults and associated rewards. By necessity, this culture takes a long-term approach,counterbalanced by investing extensive resources into ensuring that things happen as planned. TRUST 2
  • 3. Snow, Snell, and Davidson (1996) proposed that the issue of trust is pivotal in the contextof virtual teams where the lack of direct interpersonal engagement can be influenced trust issues.Familiarity, shared experiences, common goals, conversational reciprocity, and consistentrespect shown over time play key roles in defining the depth and breadth of trust that exists(Dani, Burns, Backhouse, & Kochhar, 2006). These influences can translate into improvedperformance, as the greater the level of trust between members of a virtual team, the greater theeffectiveness of the team (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000; Solomon, 2001; Zucher et al., 1996). Yetvirtual teams by their very nature are challenged in achieving the necessary relationships andbonds requisite to establishing trust (Lipnack & Stamps; Solomon). Sabel (1993) linked trust to productivity by demonstrating that increased trust reducescosts through increased creativity or the need for reduced control where there is a high level oftrust. This establishes trust as an antecedent to reducing costs and improving the productivity of avirtual team. Conversely, Jarvenpaa and Shaw (1998) showed the existence of an increasedtendency towards reduced project performance in virtual teams due to the difficult in sustainingcommitment and role clarity over time and distance. With the increasing frequency of virtualteams, whether due to convenience, economic necessity, or competitive advantage, trust amongteam members for reliable and productive performance is critical. Sarker, Valacich and Sarker (2003) defined virtual team trust as the degree of dependenceindividuals have with respect to remotely located team members, when taken collectively. Theydistinguished three specific streams of trust components: personality-based trust, institutionally-based trust, and cognitively-based trust. Personality-based trust develops due to a person’strusting nature, institutionally- based trust develops as a function of an individual’s belief inintuitional norms/procedures, and cognitively-based trust is derived from social cues andimpressions that an individual receives from the other (Sarker et al.). Within this framework,levels of trust in several different companies engaged in the same line of business, participated ina study focused on determining characteristics attributable to membership in virtual teams. METHODOLOGY The examination of trust within the subject companies utilized an established surveyinstrument developed by Sarker, Valacich, and Sarker (2003) to evaluate virtual team trust.Voluntary participation from three separate companies within the insurance industry wasobtained (Companies A, B, and D). Company C was based outside of the USA and showedinitial interest in participating; however, they chose not to participate in the survey. The studyconsisted of two parts: one, an Internet based survey using summated ratings along withnumerical and short answers; two, a series of voluntary semi-structured telephone interviewsconducted with a subset of participants from each of the companies. In addition, a basic set ofdemographic questions supplemented Sarker et al.’s survey questions. In total, the surveyconsisted of thirty summated ratings questions; five dealing with personality-based trust, fiverelating to institutional-based trust, and twenty relating to cognitive-based trust. Scales werevalued from one through four, with lower values representing greater agreement/more positivelevels of trust and higher values representing less agreement/more negative levels of trust. Noneutral values were sought which required respondents to make a values based (Kerlinger & Lee,1999) assessments in their responses. 3
  • 4. COMPANY OVERVIEWS Company A is an industry leader insuring more than 25 million people. It is a multi-line,and multi-subsidiary, publicly traded stock-based national insurer with products distributedthrough career exclusive, broker, employer group, and direct marketing methods appealing to awide range of markets. It has grown through acquisitions of other large and has a divisionalpresence overseas in the European market as well. The company participants surveyed includeda mix of corporate HR employees located in Northeastern United States (U.S.) and a similarlylocated call center servicing a select, and distributed, subset of clients. These participants camefrom a shared service set of functions in a dynamic, relatively high stress environment consistentwith the work-hard, play-hard cultural construct (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). Executives come froma wide range of places including within the company, from acquisitions, and external talentattracted to the company by its opportunities and success. Although management is working tocreate a unified culture focused on delivering profitable results and increased market share,because of recent merger activity, there is no consistently identified organization-wide culture, . Company B is a top-twenty multi-line mutual insurer based in the Central U.S., servingpersonal, commercial, life, and health insurance markets. Products are distributed through anetwork of dedicated career agents that are non-employees with exclusive contracts. Thecompany is super-regional (versus national) with a presence in over 15 states clustered aroundthe Upper-central U.S. The company has a long history of customer focus and service qualityconcentrated on serving America’s middle market clientele with a strong employee focus thatworks to avoid layoffs, resulting in a large population of long tenured (20+ years) employees.With the exception of large shared-service functions (e.g., IS, HR, Finance, Education, and otherrelated corporate entities) the participants surveyed came from the life insurance division of thecompany, which operates as a separate part of the larger company, While a relatively smallpercent of the total revenue, the life company is a very profitable segment of the parent company.The life insurance division has operated as a semi-independent but controlled subculture withinthe larger overall company culture. With all of the senior management team having come upthrough the ranks, promotion from within has been the primary means of advancement, Recentturnover at the executive level due to retirements resulted in promotions from within and a mixof new executive hires. Company B functions as a process culture (Deal and Kennedy, 1982)where employees know Human Resources sees as one of its primary roles as protection ofemployees, and acts to alleviate necessary reductions through natural attrition, redeployment, andrelocation of resources, avoiding non-performance related terminations as much as possible. Company D is a privately held boutique management consulting firm focusing on thefinancial services industry, specifically banking (typically regional), health care, and insurance(casualty, life/annuity, and health). Almost all of the employees, including management, comefrom the financial services industry, many with ten to fifteen years of direct line experience inthe operational areas of a financial service company. The client engagements focus onoperational effectiveness, assisting companies in optimizing business processes and resourceutilization, although a secondary tier of services includes strategic planning, organizationalalignment, and market development. The participants surveyed included a mix of management,sales, and consultants. The company has home offices for shared-service functions (e.g., IS,Marketing, and HR), while the consulting staff all work virtually out of home offices from whichthey travel to client engagements on a weekly basis. Approximately one third of the staff has 20years tenure with the company, and 80% have been with the company for over 5 years. All 4
  • 5. employee levels work as teams with a focus on delivering measurable results in realized expensesavings, enhanced services, increased growth, or improved strategic alignments. The culture isvery open, and as delineated by Deal and Kennedy (1982) are seen as a bet-the-company (Deal& Kennedy, 1982) culture, respectful of the individuals as successful previous executives, andfocused on delivering client value by developing trusted advisor relationships that last beyond agiven engagement. SURVEY RESULTS The administration of surveys occurred over a thirty-day period during the summer of 2008.Solicitation for participation came by email from each company’s management seekingparticipation in the survey, providing a link to a confidential Internet address operated by SurveyMonkey. Potential respondents received periodic reminder notices via e-mail of surveyavailability as well as the timeframe remaining for completion. Data was gathered and reviewedlate summer, with the results of the study indicating noticeable differences in trust levelsbetween the three participating companies. Only fully completed surveys were included in thedata and analysis. Of the three companies participating in the study, Company B, was the mostpronounced as having the lowest levels of trust in all three categories of institutionally-based,personality-based, and cognitively-based trust (see Figure 1). Figure 1: Trust Measures by Company Company A Company B Company D Aggregate Personality-Based 1.779411765 2.026785714 1.602941176 1.842741935 Institutionally-Based 2.000000000 2.111680912 1.832352941 2.003056405 Cognitively-Based 1.852573529 2.000000000 1.748529412 1.888371538The measures of trust presented in Figure 1 (above) utilized a weighted value for each responsewhere a lesser value indicated greater agreement, translating to a greater degree of trust. Theselection of ‘strongly agree’ is represented by a value of 1.0, ‘agree’ by a value of 2.0, ‘disagree’by a value of 3.0, and ‘strongly disagree’ by a value of 4.0. Using this scale, a statistically neutralaverage (i.e., neither agree nor disagree) is represented by a value of 2.5. FINDINGS Companies A and D had nearly identical levels of trust, with Company D exhibiting thehighest levels of agreement in each trust category. These results indicated respondents wereexperiencing a generally favorable environment of trust in their virtual teams. Company A also 5
  • 6. had a generally favorable environment of trust; however, the respondents indicated thatinstitutionally-based trust was only slightly favorable at 2.0 versus a neutral value of 2.5. Bycontrast, Company B respondents exhibited the least amount of trust relative to the other twocompanies. For Company B, cognitively-based trust showed up as marginally favorable with avalue of 2.0, while personality-based and institutionally-based trust were slightly more neutral at2.03 and 2.11 respectively. In all three companies, the lowest measured level of trust wasinstitutionally-based and the highest measured value of trust was personality-based. Company A, categorized as the work-hard, play-hard culture, had the highest compositescores of all three companies with respect to levels of trust. There were also several indicators ofvirtual team issues in Company A, found in other components of the survey instrument.Specifically, there was a perceived lack of emphasis on deliverables coupled with concerns aboutdependability among the virtual team members. Due to the belief that the results of their teamefforts would not affect their individual performance rating, it was noted that a general lack ofexcitement about the team projects existed. This seems consistent with the low risk nature of awork-hard, play-hard culture where the fast feedback cycle consists of limited to no immediatefeedback that would otherwise drive action (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). Company B exhibited a marginally favorable working environment in all three areas oftrust. Noted was that the team members expressed higher degrees of perceived honesty thanother virtual team members. Institutionally-based trust proved more problematic in that virtualteam members indicated perceived issues related to dividing work responsibilities anddependability. Issues were less pronounced in the area of cognitively-based trust, though somevirtual team members indicated concern about team organization, dependability, and a lack ofgeneral interest in the projects they were working on. Given that Company B is a process culture(Deal & Kennedy, 1982), the findings tend to indicate structural problems may exist in theprocesses used by the participant’s virtual teams. Company D had a relatively high score in the area of personality-based trust, nearly ashigh as those of Company A. In the area of institutionally-based trust, respondents were notoverly concerned about the prospects of late deliverables or for getting a good performancerating which showed in their responses. The respondents also expressed very high levels ofdesire to uphold the reputation of the organization, with recorded values that ranked the highestof any trust question in any of the companies. In the area of cognitively-based trust, Company Dalso indicated the highest level of trust among its members related to perceived virtual teamperformance organization and dependability. Given the high risk, slow cycle time nature of thebet-the-company cultural construct (Deal & Kennedy, 1982) represented by Company D, thefocus on reputation, dependability, and team performance is not surprising and is consistent withthe environment that results from this construct. ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS A comparative analysis sought to determine the potential causes for the differences inlevels of measured trust between Company B and the other two companies surveyed. Inreviewing the quantitative survey data relating to measures of trust, several demographicattributes were identifiable as differentiators. Specifically, Company B tended to have theyoungest respondents of the three companies, the highest number of female respondents, and themost respondents with the least industry tenure. Company B respondents indicated they spent a 6
  • 7. high percentage of time working in the corporate offices as part of a virtual team. In addition,they indicated they spent the least amount of time and had the least experience with videoteleconferences; and, they expressed the least comfort with technology of the respondents fromthe three companies surveyed. Despite relatively close proximities in levels of trust, with respect to demographicsCompanies A and D were not completely similar to one another. Specifically, nine years of ageseparated the average age for Company A from Company D at thirty and thirty-nine respectively.Similarly at odds was the measure of time spent in their office, with Company A respondentsaveraging ninety-nine percent of their time and Company D respondents averaging a much lowersixty-eight percent of their time spent in an office. The quantitative data indicates that these companies, though similar in business weredecidedly dissimilar in composition and in their approach to work. This seems traceable at leastin part to the discretely different cultural constructs each company represented. Furthermore,based on an analysis of this survey’s responses, no one quantitative factor measured stood out asa potential indicator of levels of trust (positive or negative). While a combination of factors mayserve that function, it is unlikely they will be indicative of causal elements behind the measuredtrust levels. It is worth noting that the respondents from all three companies surveyed clearlystated a preference, when possible, for working in a traditional face-to-face team. CONCLUSIONS The pattern emerging from this initial survey indicates that the construct of corporateculture associated with a given company can play a key role in determining the development ofmeasurable trust in virtual teams, as well as demographic and other quantifiable norms. Thepervasive nature of corporate culture appears to directly affect virtual team trust and, with that,performance and effectiveness. Consistent with Sims (2000) work, the culture of the organizationreflects generalized personality characteristics that translate into the ability of virtual teams toperform effectively. It is noteworthy that the effect of corporate culture on the virtual teamenvironment goes beyond the scope of physical location of a company, corporate culture existsremotely, as well as from and to other virtual team members. Further, it was clear that themanagement framework defined by the culture directly influenced the performance of the virtualteams, consistent with Pool’s findings in 2000. Based on this study, there is a direct correlationbetween corporate culture and trust. Where positive corporate culture exists, greater trust amongvirtual teams emanated; where the culture was more restricted, trust likewise diminished. Thisspeaks to the import of corporate culture with respect to the prevalence of successful andproductive virtual teams within an organization. STUDY LIMITATIONS This study was constrained by the finite of companies involved in the web-based surveyprocess. Because only three companies participated, the number of respondents was limitedwhich may have skewed the data. While culture has been shown to play a major role in virtualteam performance, there was no clear delineation of cultural differences and their impact on thetrust within the virtual teams. Nor was the potential influence of the nature of the work beingperformed contemplated. Since the sample population only included US-based companies within 7
  • 8. the insurance industry, there is certainly room for additional scope and magnitude of additionalparticipant to assure a representational population. Finally, this report only includes therespondents’ answers to Sarker et al.’s survey which may or may not be a true measurement oftrust issues with respect to virtual teams (Karpiscak, 2007). RECOMMENDATION FOR FUTURE RESEARCH We recommend several areas to consider for future study. First, we propose that futurestudies be conducted examining other companies involved in the same line of business, both inthe US and beyond to expand the reliability and generalizability of the data (Miles & Huberman,2002). We suggest that future studies examine trust in virtual teams in other industries, bothwithin and outside of US borders. We urge that future studies seek qualitative approaches tounderstand more about how productivity, effectiveness and corporate culture affects trust invirtual teams. Based upon this research, it appears that generational issues, leadership style, andfamiliarity with technology are likely influencing factors that need to be contemplated.Demographics were incorporated into the study, but there is a notable lack of overall diversitythat would likely bring additional complexity to the findings and as such is worthy of additionalresearch. Delving deeper, are there specific personal or functional attributes that create betterperforming virtual team members, and what training can be used to increase the effectiveness ofthe team. It would also be interesting to determine which blends of corporate cultures best lendthemselves to fostering the highest and lowest levels of virtual team trust, and whether the typeof business affects levels of trust. SUMMARY Trust has been identified as the pivotal element of a virtual team, and the effectiveness ofa virtual team directly correlated with trust. The data gathered in this study indicates that virtualteam trust varies from company to company within the same industry and with these companiesthere appears to be a direct correlation between virtual team trust and the company’s corporateclimate. The influence of organizational dynamics on the effectiveness of the team is impliedthrough the varying results in trust associated with different cultural frameworks. While the trendtowards greater use of virtual teams continues, there remains a strong preference for some formof face-to-face interaction during the formation of the team as well as throughout the teamprocess. There also remains confusion as to the nature, intent, and associated roles involved in avirtual team even within teams that have existed for some time, profiling the importance of roalclarity and goals definition. Management practices indicate a current tendency to applytraditional leadership practices in a virtual team environment, profiling the opportunity foradditional training and education on the topic. Hopefully additional studies of this nature will beperformed to further confirm this initial finding and examine its accuracy and applicability toother business both within the US and around the world, bringing with them added depth interms of diversity, function, and situational context. REFERENCES 8
  • 9. Berrio, A. A. (2003). An organizational culture assessment using the competing values framework: A profile of Ohio State University Extension. Extension Journal, 41(2). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2003april/a3.phpBolman, L.G. & Deal, T. E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice and leadership (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Dani, S. S., Burns, N. D., Backhouse, C. J., & Kochkar, A. K. (2006). The implications of organizational culture and trust in the working of virtual teams.Deal, T., & Kennedy, A. (1982). Corporate cultures. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Ernst, H. (2001). Corporate culture and innovative performance of the firm. Management of Engineering and Technology, Portland International Conference (Supplemental Issue- Vol. 2), 532 - 535.Harris, S. G., & Mossholder, K. W. (1996). The affective implications of perceived congruence with culture dimensions during organizational transformation. Journal of Management, 22(4), 572- 547.Hofstede, G. (2004). Cultures and organization: Software of the mind (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill.Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Shaw, T. R. (1998). Global virtual teams: Integrating models of trust. In Sieber, P. & Griese, J. (eds), Organizational Virtualness Proceedings of the V O Net - Workshop, April, 1998. Bern: Simowa Verlag: 35–51.Karpiscak, J. (2007). The Effects of new technologies on the performance of virtual teams. Capella University, MN (Doctoral dissertation). AAT 3266273.Kerlinger, F. N. & Lee, H. B. (1999). Foundations of behavioral research. Stamford, CT: Cengage.King, W. (2007). A research agenda for the relationships between culture and knowledge management, Knowledge and Process Management, 14(3), 226-236.Lamond, D. (2003). The value of Quinn’s competing values model in an Australian context, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 18(1/2), 46-59.Lipnack, J. & Stamps, J. (2000). Virtual teams: People working across boundaries with technology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Maznevski M. L., Distefano J. J., Gomez C.B., Noorderhaven N. G., & Wu P,-C. (2002). Cultural dimensions at the individual level of analysis: the cultural orientations framework, The International Journal of Cross Cultural Management 2(3), 275–298.Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (2002). The qualitative researchers companion. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 9
  • 10. Morgan, M. (1993). How corporate culture drives strategy, Long Range Planning 26(2), 110-118.Pool, S. W. (2000). The learning organization: Motivation employees through integrating TQM philosophy in a supportive organizational culture, Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 21(8), 373-396.Sabel, C. (1996). Studied trust: Building new forms of cooperation in a volatile economy, Human Relations, 9(3), 346 - 375.Sarker, S., Valacich, J., & Sarker, S. (2003, April-June). Virtual team trust: Instrument development and validation in an IS educational environment, Information Resources Management Journal 16(2), 35-55.Schein, E. H. (2004). Organizational culture (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Schneider, S., & Constance, B. (1987). National vs. corporate culture: Implications for Human Resource Management. Singapore: International Personnel and Human Resource management conference paper, December 14-17.Solomon, C. (2001). Managing virtual teams,Workforce, 80(6), 60-65.Snow, C., Snell, S., & Davison, S. (1996). Use transnational teams to globalize your company. Organizational Dynamics, 24(4), 50-67.Sondergaard, M. (1994). Research note: Hofstede’s consequences: A study of reviews, citations and replications, Organization Studies, 15(3), 447–456.Zucher, L., Darby, M., Brewer, M., & Peng, Y. (1996). Collaboration structures and information dilemmas in biotechnology: Organization boundaries as trust production. In R. Kramer and T. Tyler (eds.), Trust in organization: Frontiers of theory and research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. AUTHORSDr. John Karpiscak graduated with a Ph.D. from Capella University. Dr. Karpiscak is employed by the U.S.Army Topographic Engineering Center. john.karpiscak.III@usace.army.mil.Dr. Jean Gordon received her DBA in Business from Nova Southeastern University. She is Interim Chair of theHuman Resource Management and Organizational Development specialization in the School of Business andTechnology at Capella University. Dr. Gordon’s speaking, consulting and authorship focuses on changemanagement through practices of human resource management, organizational, and cultural leadership in 21stcentury knowledge age organizations. jean.gordon@capella.edu.Dr. Toni Buchsbaum Greif earned her Ph.D. in Human & Organizational Development from The FieldingGraduate University. She is Core faculty in the leadership and organizational development specialization in theSchool of Business and Technology at Capella University, and serves as a consultant and business coach in her 10
  • 11. role as CEO of Sound Beach LLC. Dr. Greif consults in the areas of leadership, research, finance, strategicanalysis, entrepreneurship, and organizational behavior. tbgreif@yahoo.com.Steven Callahan is pursuing his Ph.D. in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership fromCapella University. He is a Senior Consultant and Practice Development Director with The Robert E. NolanCompany, a management consulting firm specializing in the financial services industry. Steve helps clientsachieve measurable improvements in service, quality, and productivity while helping lead the development andleveraging of intellectual capital. stevecallahan@technologist.comDr. Lee StJohn earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from The Fielding Graduate University. She teachesonline for Capella Univeristy and Thomas Edison State College, and consults in her role as vice president ofSound Beach LLC. She is involved in research concerning life-span development, hope, culture, positive andtranspersonal psychology. drleestjohn@earthlink.net 11