With the spread of globalization, many organizations are reaching around the world to fulfill their missions. In the fast-paced world of technology, there are ever- improving ways in which organizations can be in touch with transcontinental colleagues. Many organizations are using global virtual teams (GVTs) as an important part of their business model. Yet, just as globalization adds new complexities to the work of organizations, complexity is also increased on teams that are dispersed globally and working virtually. Some of the complexities found on a GVT include intercultural communications, building team identity with colleagues who do not meet face-to-face, working across time zones, and cross-functional agendas. Amid all the complexity, conflict can easily arise and disrupt the workflow on GVTs. The purpose of this research was to determine a set of best practices to establish and lead a GVT, with a focus on how to resolve conflict when it arises. Questions related to the topic are 1. How is trust established and maintained on GVTs? 2. What is expected of a member of a GVT? 3. What are the potential causes of conflict on a GVT? 4. Is there a best way to approach conflict resolution on a GVT? Qualitative data was gathered through one-on-one interviews with 18 people working on different GVTs. The interview questions focused on how to build trust in a virtual setting, expectations of team members, and how conflict is approached and resolved. Based on the data, a set of best practices was established. This research offers both leaders and members of GVTs a set of best practices they may use for practical application.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Research projects (MSOD); Virtual work teams

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Egan, Terri;