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The Real Problems of Virtual Organisation

This sprawling research article written by John Hughes, Mark Rouncefield, Jon O'Brien, Peter Tolmie, and Dave Randall, some unique problems are discussed stemming from virtual organisations. The article begins with the authors discussing the qualities of a virtual orgainzation (these being flexibility, and combining skills regardless of location, among others), and then goes on to list the problems: how to keep a hierarchy in place, communicate between workers, and represent what work has been performed for managers to review: The task here is one of producing some representation of the work done for the purposes of management support. In more practical terms it is producing summations of the performance of the team for those managers who were not, and could not be, witnesses of the actual work done in the period covered. However, despite the constraints of the categories and calculations provided, there is an effort to make entries at least bear some 'reasonable' relationship to the actualities of the local circumstances of work. The article concludes by explaining how virtual teamwork is built around communication and awereness – and how that awareness and communication can lead to resources shifting blame or responsibility away from themselves and on to others. The caution here is simply to understand what elements are the same between a virtual organisation and a “brick and mortar” organisation, and how to adjust for elements that are not.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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