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What is Vertical Disintegration

Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Differentiation or “unbundling” of the functions of an organization, enabling these functions to be either outsourced or dealt with by partners in strategic alliances, for example, instead of an organization having its own IT department, it may outsource this function to a specialist IT service provider.
Published in Chapter:
Transforming Universities in the Online World
Stewart Marshall (The University of the West Indies, Barbados) and Shirley Gregor (Australian National University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch315
As the world moves online, various pressures drive changes in the way industries and organizations do business: market pressures, for example, global competition; technological pressures, for example, the use of e-commerce to lower the costs of production; and societal pressures, for example, government regulations (Turban, King, Lee, & Viehland, 2004). In considering the implications of the online world for industry, it is necessary to consider both structure and process, where process includes change processes (Gregor & Johnston, 2000, 2001; Johnston & Gregor, 2000). In Giddens’ (1977, 1984, 1991) theory of structuration, process (activity) and structure are reciprocal. As Giddens (1977) states, “social structures are both constituted by human agency, and yet at the same time are the very medium of this constitution”(p. 121) or, as Rose (1999) puts it, “agents in their actions constantly produce and reproduce and develop the social structures which both constrain and enable them” (p.643).
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