The implementation of an organizational model characterized by very high interorganizational dynamics, such as the virtual enterprise (VE) model, presents several requirements in order to keep the VE partnership aligned with the market, that is, with business (Cunha & Putnik, 2005a, 2005c, 2006b). Such requirements include (1) the reduction of reconfiguration costs and effort and (2) the capability to preserve the firms’ private knowledge on products or processes (Cunha & Putnik, 2006c). These must be assured by a specific environment, or, in other words, by organizational infrastructures such as a meta-organizational structure for VE design (or integration) and operation, such as the market of resources—an environment developed by the authors to cope with the highlighted requirements, assuring better performance than the traditional environments such as Internet search engines or electronic marketplaces (Cunha & Putnik, 2005c; Cunha, Putnik, Gunasekaran, & Ávila, 2005a). However, VE formation, integration, and operation rely on the existence of an adequate platform of information and communication technologies (Cunha & Putnik, 2003; Cunha, Putnik, & Silva, 2005b). The environment for creation, integration, operation, reconfiguration, and dissolution can be implemented under the format of a market of resources, an entity conceived to cover the whole VE life cycle (Cunha, Putnik, & Ávila, 2004). The market of resources, its characteristics, operation, and functionalities, is specifically addressed in a different article in this encyclopedia.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Web Services: Defined by W3C as a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. Web services are frequently just application programming interfaces (API) that can be accessed over a network, such as the Internet, and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services.
Market of Resources: An institutionalized organizational framework and service assuring the VE dynamic integration, reconfiguration, and business alignment. The operational aspect of the market of resources consists of an Internet-based intermediation service, mediating offer and demand of resources to dynamically integrate in a VE, assuring low transaction costs and the partners’ knowledge preservation. Brokers act within the market of resources as the intermediation agents for agility and virtuality.
P2P Hybrid Network: Fusion of the P2P architecture with the client/server architecture, where the characteristics of the first are remarked; this architecture is classified as a variant of P2P architecture.
BM_Virtual Enterprise Architecture Reference Model: BM_VEARM is a VE reference model conceived for enabling the highest organizational/structural/reconfiguration and operational inter-enterprise dynamics of VE, employing three main mechanisms for VE dynamic creation, reconfiguration, and operation: (1) Market of Resources, (2) Broker, and (3) Virtuality. Additionally, BM_VEARM implies the highest level of integration and (geographic) distribution of VE elements (partners in the VE network).
Virtual Enterprise: A dynamically reconfigurable global networked organization, networked enterprise, or network of enterprises, sharing information and/or knowledge, skills, core competencies, market and other resources and processes, configured (or constituted) as a temporary alliance (or network) to meet a (fast changing) market window of opportunity, presenting as its main characteristics agility, virtuality, distributivity, and integrability