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What is a Virtual Organisation?

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Page Title Page Introduction 2 Acknowledgements 3 What is a Virtual Organisation? 4 Managing virtual networks 7 Student workbook This report is a completion of the assignment for the module OE102, People at work. The report consists of the answers to a) Explain what is meant by a virtual "organisation" & b) Why might virtual structures and networks be preferred by managers who seek to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. The report is of 1594 words which does not include this introduction. I have made reference to relevant theorists in my answer. My completed student workbook is attached to the end of this report. I would like to acknowledge the following for the provision of the useful sources of information I made use of in order to gain knowledge and understanding in this subject. Books, publications and journals Module booklets, OE102, Michael Flagg, University of North London Management & Organisation Behaviour, Laurie J Mullins, Prentice Hall J.A. Byrne, The Virtual Corporation, Business Week 8 Feb 1993 The Digital Economy, Don Tapscott 1996 Virtual Organisations, Kamna Prasad & Viswanath Subramanian, 2000 Theorists Lipnack & Stamps 1997 Robert Bradt 1998 Cambridge Dictionary Anderson 1997 Sieber 1998,Wolters et al.1999 Eversheim 1998 Websites www.cms.dmu.ac.uk www.whatis.com www.virtual-organisations.net www.virginstudent.com, Clare Field Virtual and organisation are two different words put together. When defined separately, virtual means almost even if not exactly or in every way1 or that there is some sort of link with computers e.g. ...read more.


When the brief has been completed, the reps are required to complete a project feedback form, which is sent to me via e-mail and then forwarded onto my employer who confirms the pay. Pay is also received via the BACS system, which is another example of a virtual organisation. I occasionally have face-to-face contact with my peers or managers because most of the time I am using tele commuting to stay in touch. The virtual organisation boundary Fig.1- How I perceive Virginstudent.com Above is an illustration of a web-based or otherwise known as a displaced organisation. Members are geographically apart, working by computer e-mail and groupware whilst "appearing to others as a single, unified organisation with a real physical location".3 An alliance organisation such as Dell or IBM, do not seem to be virtual as production is taking place and people interact with each other face-to-face. Although partnering has changed this. "Just as the walls within organisations are falling, so walls among organisations are falling too. The result is what's been called the virtual corporation. Rather than staff up, you partner. You understand your core competencies and unite with companies having other talents. You forge a series of ever-changing alliances to achieve competitive success".4 Tapscott (1996) gave a clear definition of an alliance organisation. Dell took a step into virtuality by eliminating the distributor and partnering with the supplier. This became the first type of virtual organisation. ...read more.


This makes the virtual organization the most promising organisational form in the 21st century. Richard Branson developed Virgin and thus went onto develop many different departments of Virgin through encouraging entrepreneurship. Virginstudent.com was born through the innovation of a university student. Obviously when the idea was proposed, the student was encouraged to set it up as the directors of Virgin realised the advantages it would bring to the company. Virgin expanded into the virtual network and is reaping its benefits. In conclusion, it is the benefits that managers see in virtual organisations that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Virtual organisations bring about the automatic reductions of manual actions. Virtual networks are informative and enable the availability of huge quantities of detailed information, which is precisely targeted. They allow continuous process monitoring and provide an analytical complex analysis of existing information. Virtual networks bring together and integrate varied activities so businesses can expand easier. Expertise knowledge is developed in keeping up with the advancements in information technology but the most advantageous attribute that virtual organisations/networks brings is the geographical overcoming of space and simplifying and removing intermediaries attached to the organisation. 1 Cambridge Dictionary 2 Byrne, J.A. The Virtual Corporation. Business week 8 Feb 1993 3 Defined by whatis.com 4 Tapscott's (1996) definition in the journal The Digital Economy. 5 Anderson (1997) 6 Sieber 1998,Wolters et al.1999 7 Eversheim 1998 Module: OE102, People at Work By: Mariam N Hanif Tutor: Michael Flagg ID: 01009726 Mariam Nadeem Hanif Page 1 5/2/2007 ...read more.

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