Euromed Marseille School of Management, World Med MBA Program - Information Systems and Strategy Course

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Distributed working, innovation and the blurring of organizational boundaries

This session will focus on the impact that information technology can have on the way a business is structured. The aim of the session is to give you an understanding of the ways in which recent approaches to information systems can used to transform an organization's structure, the way it does business and the broader implications of these changes.

By the end of this session you should have:

Having looked at the effect that IS / IT is used inside a company, we will now shift our focus and look at the inter-organizational level, in particular, we will focus on the threats and opportunities that the new world of distributed work can offer.

We will start by looking in general terms at some of the new forms of 'IT enabled' organization that have emerged in recent years. Following this we will look at some examples in more detail. The first is the topic of inter-organizational collaboration and innovation and some the issues this raises; the second is the example of fully fledged virtual organizations.

We will conclude by looking at some more case studies to see the complexities of a 'real life' application of these ideas.

Additional reading / background information for session 5

Some examples of new organizational forms

The links below are just a small selection of the many examples of web pages and articles you can find about new organizational forms and new ways of working. I have also included a section on the development of open source software as this provides an excellent example of many of the features of the new forms of work we will discuss in this session.

Open source software development

Collaboration and Innovation

Some examples

Virtual and Distributed Organizations

Some examples


In addition to the text books for the course, I have chosen some extra reading for you to do. I have selected two articles from the Harvard Business review for you to read. The link to the articles (with a short summary of each) can be found below:

You may also find the following of use:

For private study

Self Assessment

There is a set of self assessment questions to go with this session. The goal of this session was to understand how IS / IT can transform an organization's structure and the way it conducts its business. The objective of these self assessment questions is to make you to think about some of the issues that were raised during this session. There are no right and wrong answers, the questions are there for you, not as part of a formal assessment.

The notes for this session are available as a presentation (in pdf format) - lecture notes for session 5.

Euromed Marseille Ecole de Management, World Med MBA Programme - Information Systems and Strategy Course

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