Which Way is Forward? Direction and Control in Virtual Space

Which Way is Forward? Direction and Control in Virtual Space

Malcolm Warner (University of Cambridge, UK) and Morgen Witzel (London Business School, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-24-2.ch002
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The virtual organization offers many advantages, and can be a powerful strategic option for firms attempting to extend the scope and reach of their operations. However, it is by no means an easy option. Physical dispersal of the organization brings with it many associated problems of management and control. In this chapter, we look at some of these management issues and some of the options for managing more effectively in virtual space. In particular, we argue that management in virtual organizations still requires attention to the fundamentals of management. “Going virtual” should be seen as a strategic option which requires firms to achieve the optimal mix of physical and virtual elements and systems. In particular, we argue that a mastery of the skills of knowledge management is necessary in order to manage virtual systems and structures. Firms which fail to develop these skills run significant risks when taking the virtual option.

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