Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Niki Davis

Second Advisor

Patricia Leigh


The purpose of this dissertation is to develop a better understanding of boundary issues in global virtual teams, especially in higher education settings. Although previous research in the past decade has studied various aspects of global virtual teams, there is no comprehensive review of boundary issues and their impact. This dissertation addresses these limitations in previous research through a systematic investigation of boundaries issues in global virtual teams. First, it surveys previous research to draw a comprehensive picture of how global virtual teams have been studied and builds a classification system of boundary issues. The relationship between boundary issues and team performance is then investigated in a quantitative study of China-US virtual teams in engineering education. Boundaries and the interaction among them are further described in a multi-perspective qualitative case study of engineering students participating in global virtual teams. The findings indicate that boundary issues were present individually and concurrently, and also interacted among one another to impact team collaborative learning. The dissertation also informs recommendations on team set up and team project design to enhance collaborative learning practice in higher education at a time when the engineering sector is becoming increasingly global. This dissertation provides a foundation for future research of the boundaries that affect virtual team performance in a global education environment.


Copyright Owner

Wenxia Wu



Date Available


File Format


File Size

197 pages