The Virtual Workplace (Series in Information Technology Management)
by Magid Igbaria (Editor), Margaret Tan (Editor)
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Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours. Paperback (January 1998); Idea Group Publishing; ISBN: 1878289470; Amazon.com Sales Rank: 73,481
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Excerpted from The Virtual Workplace (Series in Information Technology Management) by Magid Igbaria and Margaret Tan. Copyright © 1998. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. The current merging of computer and communication technologies is facilitating the trend toward the virtual workplace. As the growth in the virtual workplace accelerates, organizations face new challenges to cope with their new organizational structure. Some of these new challenges organizations face include understanding the emergent work environment, the changing social work order, and the dynamic requirements of the knowledge worker. It is, indeed, challenging for organizations to manage the complexity of the new social and work structure that is exacerbated by the increasing mobility of the new type of office workers. For example, a challenge which most organizations face is the increasing difficulty to attract and retain a good skilled workforce. To effectively meet these challenges, management needs to develop strategies to support what is called "moving work to where people are, rather than people to where the work is." Thus, in order to maintain its status quo and also be comparatively competitive, management not only needs to understand the new structure but also must take innovative steps to adopt new organizational forms and arrangements to accommodate the increasingly diverse workplace.
The recent rapid and ongoing advent of information infrastructure and superhighways in many nations is prompting fast transformation of the organizations toward the virtual workplace. The term virtual workplace, used in this book, is defined as an omnipotent workplace that encapsulates all aspects of the social and culture forms of the logical as well as physical facets of working life. An organizational culture once based exclusively on physical contact is in the process of being transformed to one where goods and services are accessible without the need for face-to-face contact with other people. Indeed, information and communication technologies have enabled the transformation toward a virtual workplace. More interestingly, telecommunication technology is the glue that makes virtual societies possible. However, technology alone does not guarantee the viability of the virtual workplace. An informed population must also use the technological power intelligently and deliberately.
It is interesting to note that companies are no longer talking about "work at home" programs, rather, they are speaking about "working anywhere, anytime, and with anyone." The concept is quickly becoming a reality where connectivity, collaborations, and communication are easy using laptops, facsimiles, cellular telephones, networks, electronic mail, and voice mail. The virtual workplace may well be the standard mode of conducting commerce in the 21st century. After all, does it matter whether that critical voice-mail or message comes from the home office, the client's office, the airport, or in the middle of a traffic jam? Such organizational transformations may have minimal effects on some people, yet for others, it may bring about radical changes in their workspace and their lifestyles and habits. Since there is no clear definition as to who falls into which category, there is both fear and paranoia about changes to people's subsistence in the future. The equidistant position exists where people are expected to participate actively in the virtual workplace and yet not understanding the impact of the transformations when companies are triggered to design the workplace of the future.
The chapters in this book discuss the concepts of the virtual workplace in an effort to explore the forces that are driving this phenomenon and the consequential issues and problems that will influence the globalization of the virtual workplace. The Virtual Workplace provides a forum for practitioners, researchers and policy makers for exchanging ideas on the adoption of the leading-edge telecommunication and information technologies related to the virtual workplace and the impact of these technologies on individuals, groups, organizations, societies, and nations. Chapters are drawn from a variety of disciplines discussing a range of topics on virtual corporations, virtual groups, virtual communities, and teleworking. Written in provocative, analytical, empirical, and case-based study approach, the chapters help us in advancing our understanding of the virtual workplace in relationship to the new computer and communication information technologies, people, and organizations in the world --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title