Virtual teams research: 10 years, 10 themes, and 10 opportunities

Lucy L. Gilson, M. Travis Maynard*, Nicole C. Jones Young, Matti Vartiainen, Marko Hakonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

501 Citations (Scopus)


Ten years ago, Martins, Gilson, and Maynard reviewed the emerging virtual team (VT) literature. Given the proliferation of new communication technologies and the increased usage of work teams, it is hardly surprising that the last decade has seen an influx of VT research. In this review, we organize the last 10 years of empirical work around 10 main themes: research design, team inputs, team virtuality, technology, globalization, leadership, mediators and moderators, trust, outcomes, and ways to enhance VT success. These themes emerged inductively because they either represent areas with consistent results, a large proliferation of studies, or a grouping of studies and results that differed from where the literature stood a decade ago. Following the review section, we turn our attention toward 10 opportunities for future research: study setting, generational impacts, methodological considerations, new and emerging technologies, member mobility, subgroups, team adaptation, transition processes and planning, creativity, and team member well-being. Some of these opportunities emerged from our review of the extant VT literature; others are grounded in the broader team literature, are unresolved theoretical issues, or were linked to insights discussed within the VT practitioner literature. Within the domain of VTs, technological innovation continues to advance the way team members interact and enable individuals who previously could not be connected to work together as a team. Accordingly, VTs provide great promise to organizations, and the field continues to be rich with research opportunities for the coming decade(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1337
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Group processes
  • Teams
  • Virtual teams
  • Virtuality


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