Global Virtual Teams in international management


publication date 05/12/2017

Providing useful insights for both theory development and managerial practice

Global Virtual Teams (GVTs) are a commonplace in contemporary organizations, and an already established topic of research in international management. Indeed, they are most often defined as “temporary, culturally diverse, geographically dispersed, and electronically communicating work group[s]”. Recent studies report that between 50 and 70 percent of all white-collar workers in OECD countries at least occasionally work on projects that require some form of virtual collaboration, and of those 20 to 35 percent involve collaborations across national borders – and the number of such interactions is increasing. 

We organized a Special Issue in which we received around 40 submissions from specialist from all the world. After a rigorous peer-reviewing process, four papers were selected to be included, offering new understanding and empirical evidence on the challenges faced by GVTs and possible solutions.

In this work, we review current knowledge on GVTs and propose a structuring framework that can help with organizing what we know about them, and also with guiding further research on this topic in specific directions. We then introduce four special issue articles, which address relevant questions such as intercultural communication and switching behaviors, social identity, development of capabilities, or knowledge sharing. In addition to showing how they help fill gaps in the field, we also highlight how they look into potential avenues for future research.

Thus, this paper might be particularly relevant for both practitioners who need to better understand GVTs in order to implement them in the workplace, and for academics who wish to become familiar with the current state of the literature and to find research opportunities.

Jiménez, A. Boehe, D.M. Taras, V. and Caprar, D.V. (à paraître). Working across boundaries: current and future perspectives on global virtual teams. Journal of International Management.