Surveying Trust in Virtual Organizations

Surveying Trust in Virtual Organizations

Istvan Mezgár
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-885-7.ch209
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Based on the results of the information and communications technologies (ICT), a new “digital” economy is arising. This new economy needs a new set of rules and values, which determine the behaviour of its actors. Participants in the digital market realize that traditional attitudes and perspectives in doing business need to be redefined. In this dynamic and turbulent environment that requires flexible and fast responses to changing business needs organizations have to respond by adopting decentralized, team-based, and distributed structures variously described in the literature as virtual-, networked-, cluster- and resilient virtual organizations (VO). One main aspect of this approach is that organizations in this environment are networked, that is inter-linked on various levels through the use of different networking technologies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Organization: A virtual organization is a geographically distributed organization whose members does a long-term common interest or goal bind, and who communicate and coordinate their work through information technology. VO refers to a temporary or permanent collection of geographically dispersed individuals, groups, organizational units—which do or do not belong to the same organization—or entire organizations that depend on electronic linking in order to complete the production process. They are usually working by computer e-mail and groupware while appearing to others to be a single, unified organization with a real physical location.

Cooperation: Exchanging information, altering activities, and sharing resources for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose. Cooperating requires greater organizational commitments and may involve formal agreements (Himmelman, 1997).

Collaboration: Exchanging information, altering activities, sharing resources, and enhancing the capacity of another individual or organization for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose (Himmelman, 1997).

Trust: Trust can be viewed as a cognitive and social device able to reduce complexity, enabling people to cope with the different levels of uncertainty and sometimes the risks that, at different degrees, permeate our life. Without trust an individual would freeze in uncertainty and indecision when faced with the impossibility of calculate all possible outcomes of a situation. From a social perspective trust permits the necessary knowledge sharing of delegation and cooperative actions (Luhman, 1979).

Trustworthiness: The ability to attain and maintain a “trusted state,” which is definable, measurable, validatable, and demonstrable over time. Digital trustworthiness means a verifiable level of electronic process integrity, security, control, authenticity, and reliability; that captures, preserves, retrieves, verifies, renders and makes available in human readable form; the essential transaction content, context, notice, intent and consent, to meet the electronic forensic evidence requirements necessary for legal admissibility and regulatory compliance.

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