From Virtual Organization to E-Business: Transformational Structuration

From Virtual Organization to E-Business: Transformational Structuration

James J. Lee, Bandula Jayatilaka, Ben B. Kim, Ted E. Lee, Pairin Katerattanakul, Soongoo Hong
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jebr.2010100102
(Individual Articles)
No Current Special Offers


This article shows how the technical hype of 1990s has been transformed into the e-business organizations at the beginning of the 21st century. The authors took an interpretive stance in this study, grounded theory, and investigated the ontology of virtual organization by the metaphorical analysis. The metaphorical analysis adopted in this study provides the analytical power to conceptualize the social structure of virtual organization in the context of structuration theory with the process of grounded theory. As the e-business structuration indicates in this study, virtualization, the metaphor of virtual organization is interpreted as flexible domination, where the rational relationships in power distribution with other e-business characterized temporal (virtual) bond with low switching costs.
Article Preview

Virtual Organization Structures

After Lakoff and Johnson (1980) established the academic foundation of metaphors, scholars have used them in business literature. As discussed in his latest publication, Lackoff (2001) declared that even mathematics originated from metaphors of our consciousness. As we accepted theorems and axioms in geometry as a given without any reservations (Reichenbach, 1958), our languages in academic world fundamentally started from our concepts and these concepts are produced, reproduced, and transformed (Giddens, 1984) by our scholarly processes from insight, analogy, isomorphism, and finally to scientific model (Beer, 1984). The problem lies in how we use the metaphors to analyze and interpret the phenomenon a researcher wants to investigate. In organizational studies, metaphors have been used continuously (Palmer, 1996; Gibson et al., 2001; Pentland, 1995; Gioia et al., 1984; Garud et al., 1993; Lennie, 1999) after Morgan (2006) ignited the modern use of metaphors. There have been arguments on how to use metaphors in organization study and some even claimed the inappropriate use of metaphors in the field (Tinker, 1986; Bourgeois et al., 1983).

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Volume 20: 1 Issue (2024)
Volume 19: 1 Issue (2023)
Volume 18: 4 Issues (2022): 2 Released, 2 Forthcoming
Volume 17: 4 Issues (2021)
Volume 16: 4 Issues (2020)
Volume 15: 4 Issues (2019)
Volume 14: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 13: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 12: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 11: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 10: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2010)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2009)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2008)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2007)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2006)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2005)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing