Virtuality and Virtualization
In today's rapidly changing global work environment, all workers directly experience increased organizational complexity. Companies are functionally distributed, many across the globe. Intense competition for markets and margins makes adaptiveness and innovation imperative. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are pervasive and fundamental infrastructures, their use deeply integrated into work processes. Workers collaborate electronically with co-workers they may never meet face-to-face or with employees of other companies. New boundaries of time, space, business unit, culture, company partnerships, and software tools are driving the adoption of a variety of novel organizational forms. On a macro level, these changes have started to reshape society, leading some to speak of the "Network Society" and "The Information Age".
This book begins with consideration of possible frameworks for understanding virtuality and virtualization. It includes papers that consider ways of analyzing virtual work in terms of work processes. Following that, the book takes a look at group processes within virtual teams, focusing in particular on leadership and group identity. The book goes on to consider the role of knowledge in virtual settings and other implications of the role of fiction in structuring virtuality.
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