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Mapping the field of virtual work: a co-citation analysis

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Interest in the area of virtual work continues to increase with articles being written from different disciplinary perspectives - e.g. information systems (IS), management, psychology and transportation. In this paper, we map research on virtual work to (a) understand the intellectual base from which this field has emerged, (b) explore how this field has evolved over time, and (c) identify clusters of research themes that have emerged over time and the relationships between them. Specifically, we use co-citation analysis of research published in all social science disciplines to map the field at three points in time - 1995, 2000 and 2006. Our results show that the field has grown from nine research clusters in 1995 to sixteen in 2006. A comparison across these maps suggests that research in the cluster of "virtual teams" has gained significance even as research within some earlier clusters such as "urban planning and transportation" has lost ground. Our longitudinal analysis identifies relevant concepts, theories and methodologies that have emerged in the field of virtual work. This analysis can help interested researchers identify how they may want to contribute to the field of virtual work - by adding to popular clusters, enriching emerging smaller clusters or by acting as bridges across clusters. (author's abstract)

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Sumita Raghuram, Philipp Türtscher, Raghu Garud

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