The purpose of this qualitative paper is to explore the similarities and differences of virtual leadership in the contexts of virtual organizational teams and multiplayer online gaming clans. In both contexts, communication is mainly technologically mediated, which may raise a need for similar leadership skills, but there are also differences such as the voluntariness and entertainment found in games compared to the work context laden with obligation and responsibility. The empirical data were collected by interviewing virtual team members from global organizations and members of intercultural online gaming clans on their experiences and conceptions concerning leadership (N=50). The findings show that the qualities both sets of leaders need include active communication and coordination abilities and skills to unify the group into a tight team, whereas differences seem to be based on the level of expertise needed from the leader and his/her decision-making power. Implications for future online leadership will be discussed.
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