The Emerald Group Publishing Limited and European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) has awarded the 2010 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research award to Syracuse University School of Information Studies doctoral alumna Yeliz Eseryl for her research, “Leadership Behaviors and Perception in Self-Managing Virtual Teams.” Eseryl’s paper appeared in the Leadership and Organization Development Journal, and she shares the award with Fahri Karakas of The Open University in the United Kingdom.

“I was really thrilled to get the award,” Eseryl said, “mostly because it is an approval of the value of your research from the community in the field. Such an award is a further indication that your research stood out among other competitors.”

Eseryl defended her dissertation in September 2010, though she has been working and teaching at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands since September 2009.

“My colleagues and the department were very supportive and allowed me some time to focus on my dissertation,” she said. “It was difficult to move to a new country, develop and teach new classes, and learn a new language while finishing my work.”

Eseryl started the PhD. program at the iSchool in 2004, choosing to focus in information science because it is a multi-disciplinary field. Though she intended on researching enterprise resource planning, she soon joined Professor Kevin Crowsten’s Open Source Software Development research group and immersed herself in the subject. For her dissertation research, she studied how leadership manifests itself in self-managed virtual teams in order to contribute to a guide on how to train leaders in those kinds of emerging work organizations.

“The research program at the iSchool gave me a lot,” she said. “I had the opportunity to study the same phenomenon from different aspects, learn about grant writing and writing articles and publications, and see how such research collaborations are maintained. I co-wrote an NSF grant extension, so I could do research in Italy with a colleague for two months. These were priceless experiences.”

Though her studies were rewarding, Eseryl also found the culture of the iSchool to be accepting and motivating.

“I always felt like I was a colleague—a junior faculty—rather than a student,” she said. “There is enormous amount of knowledge exchange among faculty and among the students, which eases the very difficult Ph.D. process.”