Learning together and working apart: routines for organizational learning in virtual teams

Nancy Dixon (Department of Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 10 April 2017



Research suggests that teaming routines facilitate learning in teams. This paper identifies and details how specific teaming routines, implemented in a virtual team, support its continual learning. The study’s focus was to generate authentic and descriptive accounts of the interviewees’ experiences with virtual teaming routines.


This case study gathered concrete, practical and context-dependent knowledge about virtual teaming routines in a specific environment. The main source of data was narrative expert interviews with working members of the team.


This study illustrates how a mix of face-to-face and virtual routines can ensure organizational learning in virtual teams.

Research limitations/implications

This case study is limited to one virtual team in the information industry. Future research could build on this research to study virtual teams in other industries.

Practical implications

This research offers specific examples of teaming routines that managers of virtual teams might adapt in managing their own teams.

Social implications

Given that the use of virtual teams is a growing phenomenon, understanding how to help those teams learn effectively is a critical issue.


This case study extends the research on teaming routines to virtual teams.



Dixon, N. (2017), "Learning together and working apart: routines for organizational learning in virtual teams", The Learning Organization, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 138-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-12-2016-0101

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