Scientific Research and Essays, Vol. 4, No. 13, pp. 1575–1590, December 2009
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the driving engine behind economic growth. While SMEs play a critical role in generating employment and supporting trade, they face numerous challenges, the prominent among them are the need to respond to fasting time-to-market, low-cost and rapid solutions to complex organizational problems. Towards that end, research and development (R & D) aspect deserves particular attention to promote and facilitate the operations of SMEs. Virtual R & D team could be a viable option. However, literature shows that virtual R & D teaming in SMEs is still at its infancy. This article provides a comprehensive literature review on different aspects of virtual R & D teams collected from the reputed publications. The purpose of the state-of-the-art literature review is to provide an overview on the structure and dynamics of R & D collaboration in SMEs. Specifying the foundation and importance of virtual teams, the relationship between virtual R & D team and SMEs has been examined. It concludes with the identification of the gaps in the existing literatures and calls for future research. It is argued that setting-up an infrastructure for virtual R & D team in SMEs still requires a large amount of engineering efforts and deserves consideration at top level management.