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Working in the Virtual Environment
This lecture will briefly describe the problems posed by the business environment in which modern organizations operate. This is environment is characterized as one in which organizations are subject to the twin pressures of (a) globalization and (b) high rates of organizational and technological change. It will then move on to consider some technological and organizational solutions to these problems.
The notion of working in the 'virtual environment' is one that can be found in many places and is used to denote new organizational forms such as
Communities of Practice that attempt to address the changed social, economic and technological environments in which such organizations now operate.
These 'virtual' arrangements consist of an organizational structure that relies on multiparty co-operative relationships between people across structural, temporal and geographic boundaries. Workers and organizational units are linked by dense networks of flexible computer based communications that allow them to co-ordinate their activities and combine their skills and resources flexibly in order to achieve common goals.
- Castells M. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture Vol. I: The Rise of the Network Society. Cambridge MA. Oxford UK: Blackwell 1996
- McLuhan, M. and Powers BR. The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989
- Bell. D. The Social Framework of the Information Society
in The microelectronics revolution., Ed T. Forrester., Basil Blackwell, 1980.
- Sheehy N and Gallaher T (1996), Can Virtual Organizations be made real?, The Psychologist, April, pp 159-162
- Hinds, P. and Kiesler, S. (1995). "Communication Across Boundaries: Work, Structure, and Use of Communication Technologies in a Large Organization." Organizational Science, 6(4), pp 373-93
- Barnatt. C. (1995) Office space cyberspace and virtual organization, Journal of General Management, 20(4), pp 78-92
- Malone, T.W. and Rockart, J.F. (1991) Computers, networks and the corporation. Scientific American, 265(3), 92-99.
- Lyon. D. From Post Industrialism to Information Society: a New social Transformation?, Sociology, 20(4), 1986, pp 577 - 588.
The environment in which organizations operate
A world of bits (.pdf)
We are living at a time of unprecedented change with technology advancing faster and producing more new opportunities and problems than ever before. Computers and telecommunication (IT) have not only created the means to generate even more information and do more in a shorter time, but they have also created the means of storing, accessing and transporting information on a scale that was inconceivable just 10 years ago. - A personal view from by Peter Cochrane of BT laboratories.
Intellectual Property in the Global Village
In a post-Cold War world, competitiveness in the global knowledge-based economy requires better understanding of how knowledge is treated as property in the different neighborhoods of the global village. This short paper addresses some of the implications of globalization from the viewpoint of intellectual property. It outlines intellectual property rights traditions in the First, Second, Third and Fourth Worlds
The Virtual Organization
Everything's Coming up Virtual
Growing complexity in the business environment makes "business as usual" ineffective. Globalization extends the need for communication and coordination across different time zones and locations. Change has become the norm, an unpredictable basic reality. Corporations are evolving into virtual enterprises using integrated computer and communications technologies. These collaborative networks are not defined by concrete walls or physical space, but make it possible to draw upon vital resources as needed, regardless of where they are physically located and regardless of who owns them.
A Study of Virtual Organizations in mobile computing environments
This document explores the domain of Virtual Organizations (VOs), presenting an overview of the concept, and describing enabling technologies. An analysis of dynamic collaborative organizations in mobile computing environments is provided, along with a comparison between these new organizational forms and the existing VO taxonomy.
Network Structure in Virtual Organizations
Virtual organizations that use email to communicate and coordinate their work toward a common goal are becoming ubiquitous. However, little is known about how these organizations work. This paper examines the behavior of one such organization. The analysis is based on a case study of the communication structure and content of communications among members of a virtual organization during a four-month period. The findings imply that the communication structure of a virtual organization may exhibit different properties on different dimensions of structure.
Blurring the Boundaries: Disentangling the implications of Virtual Space [.pdf]
Virtual space provides more challenges to business organizations than simply its status as a new spatial phenomenon. The conceptualization of traditional organizational structures is altered within virtual space. The significance of this observation is compounded when traditional operational forms of organization continue to maintain fixed or impenetrable boundaries. While many discussions regarding the virtual organization have centered on the notion that an alteration to traditional structural forms has occurred, post modernity embeds the realization that organizations, or any social institution, operate in a state of continual change.
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