Resilience in virtual teams: Developing the capacity to bounce back

William Y. Degbey, Katja Einola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Resilience, or the capacity to bounce back from adversity strengthened and more
resourceful, can be considered an important quality of virtual teams in the
contemporary working world. A team is the basic organizational unit many modern firms are composed of—and, the virtual ones are those conducting teamwork over distance using a combination of telecommunications and information technologies to accomplish an organizational task. Yet, we know little about how these teams with members who rarely meet in person can build resilience. We develop further the notion of resilience from the traditional focus on significant adversity to also include mundane yet crucial events that can become key for building resilience in virtual teams.
Our study focuses on team dynamics and builds on an experimental research setting using a longitudinal, qualitative and interpretative research design to examine five anatomically similar, well-performing virtually working teams over their life cycle. Our findings show that team members in two out of the five teams engaged in specific reflection and action mechanisms—self-reflective practices, regulation of emotional expression and engagement in concrete actions promoting team inclusion—that in turn helped these teams become more robust and prepared to face new adversities.
Implications for practice and research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalApplied Psychology : An International Review
Publication statusPublished - 30.08.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • team resilience
  • virtual teams
  • sensemaking
  • conservation of resources
  • longitudinal study
  • experiment

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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