Virtual organizations (VO) have become a reality in response to the rapidly changing demands of today’s business environment characterized by globalization and market competitiveness. VO have often been considered a subset of the much older research area of networked organizations. There are almost as many definitions of VO as there are researchers. However, we find Bultje and van Vijk’s (1998) definition to be encompassing, which highlights the business orientation of VO. According to them, a virtual organization is primarily a network of independent, geographically dispersed organizations with a partial mission overlap, within which all partners provide their own core competencies to deliver innovative and strongly customer-based products and services.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Group Support Systems: Are systems that combine communication, computer, and decision technologies to support problem formulation and solution in group meetings.
Cultural Diversity: Refers to the representation, in a social system, of people with distinctly different group affiliations of cultural significance.
Team Negotiations: Describe situations in which two or more co-negotiators sharing interests and priorities negotiate with two or more co-negotiators on the other side who share their own interests and priorities.
Virtual Organization: Primarily a network of independent, geographically dispersed organizations with a partial mission overlap, within which all partners provide their own core competencies to deliver innovative and strongly customer-based products and services.
Negotiations: Are persuasive social processes, involving dyads, small groups, organizations or governments in an attempt to define or redefine the terms of their interdependence.
Coalition: Defined as two or more parties who cooperate to obtain a mutually desired outcome that satisfies the interests of the coalition rather than those of the entire group within which it is embedded.
Negotiation Support Systems (NSS): Can be considered as a special class of group support systems catered towards bargaining, consensus seeking and conflict resolution.