This dissertation focuses on team diversity and leadership types to explore different team states on the basis of extensive literatures on virtual teams [6, 18, 35]. Team diversity often leads to social loafing among members . Team leadership plays a key role in dealing with crises such as disbandment [18, 19]. Thus, we investigate the disbandment issue of MTs from these two perspectives based on related researches . The conceptual model is shown in Figure 1.
Team diversity and team disbandment
As a whole, given the negative effects of team diversity on team-based services , diverse teams likely disband. members possibly think that their contribution is non-essential in a diverse team, then reducing dispensable efforts; meanwhile, others would also reduce their effort to avoid the “sucker effect” caused by free riders’ exploitation [37, 38]. Eventually, this free-riding behavior would lead to the loss of team-based services and a vicious cycle among members in MTs.
Separation diversity, referring to the subjective attitude of doctors in MTs, can decrease the cohesion among team members, subsequently causing performance to decline  and TD. Differences in members’ attitudes can cause distrust and conflicts among members, leading to decreased contribution and even withdrawal of some members . This finding is consistent with the conclusion of social loafing in team research . Thus, we develop the following hypothesis:
Hypothesis 1a: Separation diversity is a risk factor of the disbandment of MTs.
In view of the high professionalism in the medical field, variety diversity of members’ departments affects the perceived professionalism and disbandment of a team. People tend to choose professional healthcare services  and seek the help of MTs online purposefully. Considering medical experience, homogeneous teams, which likely have a professional impression, can attract and retain more patients than diverse teams do. Only in this virtuous cycle can members be motivated to continue to provide services as a team, and vice versa. Thus, the following assumption is developed:
Hypothesis 1b: Variety diversity is a risk factor of the disbandment of MTs.
Disparity diversity in the MT context affects the team status (i.e., whether or not to disband) through the service speed. Medical services unlike other services refer to the life and sufferings of patients, extremely requiring timeliness. In fact, doctors with high clinic titles are busy with services offline, leaving less time for services online, and doctors with low clinic titles usually have enough time online, so differences in members’ status result in their complementarity in time. In addition, previous studies have confirmed that disparity could positively affect outcomes by accelerating decision-making [40, 41]. Thus, given the patients’ urgent need for access to medical services and relief from disease pain, the negative effect of social loafing among members is secondary to positive effects of time complementarity. Thus, we predict:
Hypothesis 1c: Disparity diversity is a protective factor of the disbandment of MTs.
Team leadership type and team disbandment
Previous studies have examined the key role of leadership in team functioning and confirmed the different influences of leadership types on team state . Especially, the timely adjustment of leaders is necessary while facing challenges [18, 19], and TD usually results from the team’s inability. First, MTs with different leaders have different levels of adaption ability to remove obstacles, and among three leadership types, the weak-type leader is weak in clearing obstacles or adapting to challenges, so it is most likely to disband. Furthermore, members prefer the strong-type leadership to form a relatively stable structure, since a person’s behavior is dictated by social norms  and an implicit social norm suggests that people are willing to obey to authority . Finally, equal-type leadership mode is conducive to form the loose, flexible and democratic atmosphere, where the MT can be easily adjusted to promote the virtuous circle of service and avoid disbandment. Following this logic, we test the following:
Hypothesis 2a (2b): The strong-type (equal-type) leadership is a factor that prevents TD, that is the MT with strong-type (equal-type) leadership is not easy to disband compared with that of the weak type.
Moderating effect of leadership types
Evidence suggests that team diversity has significant interaction effects with leaders’ experience and characteristics [44-46], indicating that the effect of team diversity varies with leadership types. Doctors’ high level of clinical title in China suggests the rich clinical experience, so leadership types defined according to the clinical title can reflect doctors’ experience to some extent. Following this logic, it could have remarkable interaction effect with team diversity. Moreover, considering the social compensation among members , different leadership types need different compensation degree, so they pairwise combine with different team diversity. Weak-type leaders tend to compensate for their own weakness by increasing diversity to reduce the TD possibility. However, strong/equal-type leaders are different from a weak-type leadership in MTs, since they look for equal or less experienced doctors as members and subjectively do not need the social compensation from others based on the leadership classification and actual situations.
Effects of team diversity on TD changes with leadership types. First, as separation diversity may lead to conflicts or social loafing among members and strong-type leaders usually tend to be busy with medical services offline, these MTs are more likely to lack cohesion and then disband than those with a weak-type leadership. Second, members from diverse departments are indispensable for the weak-type leader, so social compensation exists in these MTs, but high variety diversity are redundant for the other leadership types. Third, given that disparity diversity and strong-type leadership are protective factors against TD, their synergistic effects are essential for the stability of MTs. Thus, we predict the following:
Hypothesis 3: The strong-type leadership positively moderates the relationship between team diversity (i.e., separation diversity (3a), variety diversity (3b), and disparity diversity (3c)) and TD compared with that of the weak-type leadership.
Equal-type leaders function similarly, mainly because they seem relatively dominant compared with weak-type leaders. Equal-type leaders exhibit flexibility to adjust team diversity, so they can positively moderate the relationship between team diversity and team status. Thus, we hypothesize the following:
Hypothesis 4: The equal leadership type positively moderates the relationship between team diversity (i.e., separation diversity (4a), variety diversity (4b), and disparity diversity (4c)) and TD compared with that of the weak-type leadership.