Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Thomas Morgan

Second Advisor

Patricia Park


Over the past decade, the distribution of workers across the country and around the world who work together in various configurations has increased. Work relationships range from being co-located in the same office to working from a virtual office. This paper explores knowledge management in the virtual workforce and best practices for leadership in an increasingly distributed workforce. There is great potential for collaboration within a distributed workforce; however. people need to connect or be connected with each other in order for the collaborative process to flourish. In this project, knowledge management in a distributed workforce was explored among employees who are team members at a large organization (over 30,000 employees). The employees involved specialize in very specific areas of information. This information is well maintained in knowledge management tools developed by the organization. The organization had previously invested in an internal social media platform that would help employees identify which employees could best provide needed information; however, the platforrn was seldom used. Employees were not populating and updating their profiles, which decreased the effectiveness. A survey was taken to identify the factors that influence how people search for information based on proximity to managers/co-workers and social media activity outside of work. The results showed that people who created social media profiles outside of work were not more likely to have created a social profile within the company's internal social media platform. The survey helped team leaders pinpoint how increased use of the internal social media platform could be achieved. The next phase of the project involved increasing employee awareness of how useful the internal social media platform can be. A push was made to communicate to employees on a one-on-one basis. As a part of this project, members of the project team focused on enhancing the ease of searching for and connecting with others through Microsoft Lync and internal profiles. In addition, members of the leadership team have modeled a commitment to completion of internal profiles and enhanced connectedness. A profile template focused on career and skills was developed. Each group was also tasked with the identification of key searchable terms that would allow others to quickly locate them. A section of the profile is dedicated to key terms to enhance the ability to search and locate a person with specific skills or subject matter expertise efficiently and effectively. The goal of the project team is to increase the use of the internal social media platform.


SC 11.MAL.2015.Milbradt.JS