Managing geographically dispersed R&D teams remains a complex task. Contemporary leadership styles in global virtual teams is a pertinent—yet, unexplored—research topic, which can help achieve greater workplace effectiveness. The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of self and shared leadership on the performance of virtual R&D teams. Trust, potency, and commitment mediate the influence of the interplay of self and shared leadership and the performance of virtual R&D teams.
The results show that self-oriented leaders need potency and commitment to extract higher performance levels from virtual R&D teams. In addition, trust is a necessary construct to achieve shared leadership through self-leadership. The findings enrich the literature on leadership and virtual teams. They have practical implications for managers and firms implementing intra and/or inter-organizational arrangements within virtual R&D teams.