With leadership as a major predictor of team performance in both face-to-face and virtual teams, research on differences in leadership emergence in these contexts seems warranted. We offer a multi-level model analyzing the roles of degree of team virtuality and density of social network ties as boundary conditions on leadership emergence, viewed as a fundamentally social–cognitive process. Using agent-based modeling and simulations, our results suggest that virtuality moderates the relationships between cognitive ability, extraversion, and self-efficacy (as independent variables) and leadership emergence (as dependent variable); and density of network ties serves as a moderator for the associations of cognitive ability and self-efficacy with leadership emergence. Subsequent quasi-experimental and experimental tests support the role of density of network ties as a moderator for the association of extraversion with leadership emergence. Implications of these findings and future paths for research bridging the fields of leadership, team virtuality and social networks are discussed.
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