Globalisation and advances in technology have led to the rapid increase in permanent virtual teams in multinational companies as a form of competitive advantage. The main purpose of this research was to identify perceptions on leadership preferences and factors enabling or inhibiting the effective leadership of virtual teams. The qualitative phase of this research generated in-depth knowledge on the constructs for phase 2, which consisted of a survey of 59
respondents from four continents. The outcome revealed that socio-emotional leadership capabilities are key to success in the leadership of multinational virtual teams. Specific recommendations are made to virtual team leaders on the basis of consistent views expressed by managers and subordinates on findings on the
relative importance of key leadership skills, plus the enablers and inhibitors of managing virtual teams.