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The factors behind working in virtual community

Anitha Acharya (Department of Marketing and Strategy, ICFAI Business School (IBS), Hyderabad and The ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (IFHE) (Deemed to be University u/s 3 of the UGC Act 1956), Hyderabad, India)

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing

ISSN: 2398-5364

Article publication date: 10 December 2018

Issue publication date: 19 June 2019




In this paper, the prior research on virtual teams was reviewed to assess the state of the literature. The purpose of this paper is to determine why individuals prefer working in virtual teams (also termed liquid workers and part-time workers). Previous researchers have focussed on the benefits that organizations receive if they hire liquid workers, but to date, no research has been conducted to determine the perspective of these liquid workers. The various definitions of virtual teams are discussed and an integrative definition is proposed that suggests all teams may be defined in terms of their extent of virtualness.

Design/methodology approach

A systematic review of the literature on virtual teams was conducted. The data were collected from 12 informants. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.


Six main themes were identified, namely, pliability, opportunities, increased earnings, vigour, family and transportation.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in a three-metropolitan city in India and warrants being extended to rural and international settings to gain additional insights and confirmation of the research findings.

Practical implications

It is suggested that organizations who recruit liquid workers will be in a position for substantial cost savings; this is because organizations usually make payment of liquid workers’ wages on an hourly basis. This will help the organizations to schedule the number of working hours depending on their needs.


The current study is novel as there is a paucity of research in identifying the factors behind working in the virtual community in India. This study presents the first research of its kind to the best knowledge of the author, and the findings will be valuable for companies who are looking for cost savings.



Acharya, A. (2019), "The factors behind working in virtual community", Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 246-267.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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