The concept of virtual organization breeding environment (VBE) has emerged as the necessary context for effective creation of dynamic virtual organizations (Afsarmanesh & Camarinha-Matos, 2005). One important element to be considered during the VBE operation life-cycle stage is value generation. A virtual breeding environment is a “value network” that should create different types of values such as goods, services, revenue, knowledge, and/or intangible benefits (Allee, 2000). Aimed to achieve the identification of values generated in a breeding environment, the present article reports research issues related to the definition of the VBE value system and metrics. The VBE value system presented in this article will include the identification of the value generation objects (or capitals) in a virtual breeding environment and its performance measurement system, involving not only financial value generation objects but also the intellectual value generation objects (such as human capital, structure capital, innovation and learning capital, relational capital, and identity capital). Along with the VBE performance measurement system, the identification of potential incentives and sanctions are also described. Additionally, the identification of VBE ethical values are also studied through the definition of its culture and ethical code.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Performance Measurement: The selection and use of quantitative and qualitative measures of capacities, processes, and outcomes to develop information about critical aspects of activities, including their effect on the achievement of the goals and the public (Lichiello & Turnock, 1999).
Economic Value: An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else, a fair price or return. What a customer gets in exchange for the price it pays. To make a judgment as to the worth of something in the sense of appraise, assay, assess, calculate, estimate, evaluate, gauge, and judge.
Virtual Breeding Environment (VBE): “An association of organisations and their related supporting institutions, adhering to a base long term cooperation agreement, and adoption of common operating principles and infrastructures, with the main goal of increase their preparedness towards rapid configuration temporary alliances for collaboration in potential virtual organisations” (Camarinha-Matos & Afsarmanesh, 2006, p. 32).
Performance Management: Systematic process of planning work and setting expectations and continually monitoring performance by evolving/developing the capacity to perform periodically rating of performance in a summary fashion and rewarding for any good performance or improving poor performance (Lichiello & Turnock, 1999).
Value System: Is the identification, structure, and measurement of a set of values that an actor holds, exchanges, and creates for specific purposes. A values system is conformed by three important elements: the value generation objects, the performance measurement system, and the ethical values.
VBE Culture: “The collection of relatively uniform and enduring values, beliefs, customs, traditions, and practices that are shared by VBE members learned by new VBE member’s recruits, and transmitted from one generation of VBE members to the next” (adapted from Huczynski & Buchanan, 2007).
Ethical Value: Values which serve to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong, and moral and immoral. At a societal level, these values frequently form a basis for what is permitted and what is prohibited.
Virtual Organization (VO): “Represents a temporary alliance of diverse organisations that form a collaboration network, sharing knowledge, skills, and resources towards provision of value-added products and services and that resort to a computer network and associated tools to support their cooperation” (Camarinha-Matos & Afsarmanesh, 2006, p. 31).
Metrics: Standards of measurements that are used to scale and provide meaningful interpretation of quantities measured for each criterion (Lichiello & Turnock, 1999).
VBE Ethical Code: “As a management tool for establishing and articulating the corporate values, responsibilities, obligations, and ethical ambitions of an organisation and the way it functions. It provides guidance to employees on how to handle situations which pose a dilemma between alternative right courses of action, or when faced with pressure to consider right and wrong” (Institute of Business of Ethics–UK).