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|Virtual Working Resources|
This is a summary of the main resources that we have found useful for practitioners and researchers on the various aspects of virtualization. It is divided into two main groups - 1) resources on virtual organizations, virtual organizations, virtual teaming; and 2) teleworking and telecommuting.
There are similar resource pages for the themes of Knowledge Management (knowledge-based strategies, intellectual capital, the learning organization), Internet / intranet (including ecommerce and intranets), and Innovation & Management (other management topics including innovation). Also, do not forget to review our Management Insights, publications and articles pages, the themed contents page, and our knowledge shop.
We have not maintained our own comprehensive list of these, since we find the following site to provide an excellent starting point:
Virtual Organization Network (VoNet). This site, run by Pascal Sieber and colleagues from the University of Bern provides a good starting point for researchers and practitioners wanting to learn about the key concepts of different forms of virtualization. The site offers e-JOV (The Electronic Journal of Organizational Virtualness), e-News (an online newsletter), and a database of literature (books, articles etc.). There is also an email discussion list - VoTalk - as well as links to many other virtual organization sites.
The Networking Institute. The site offering insights into the thinking of consultants, authors and ENTOVATION Fellows Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps (see their books below). The focus is on virtual teams, wiht topics including virtual meetings and virtual networking. Although predominantly promotional in nature, there is an online minibook and a white paper that are useful to practitioners.
Organizational Virtualness, ed. Pascal Sieber and Joachim Griese, Simowa Verlag (1998). ISBN 3-9521463-2-3. Proceedings of the VoNet workshop in Bern, 27-28 April 1998. This workshop attracted excellent speakers from all over the world. Presentation topics included characteristics of virtual teams, trust (e.g. trust in global virtual teams by Sirrka Jarvenpaa and Thomas Shaw), and frameworks for organizing virtual corporations and virtual teams. David Skyrme's opening keynote presentation was 'The Realities of Virtuality', based on his 25 Principles of Proven Practice. A reference book for your shelf. A useful resource for researchers, now available as a free download (1Mb PDF file) from http://www.virtual-organization.net as are the proceedings of the 1999 workshop.
Virtual Organizations and Beyond, Bo Hedberg et. al, John Wiley & Sons (1998). By a group of Swedish management consultants, this book has some interesting frameworks and theories, though I felt it lacked any clear structure or coherence. Nevertheless there are some interesting Scandinavian case studies, which have not been previously published. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Age of the Network: Organizing Principles for the 21st Century, Jesica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps, Oliver Wight (1994). The first of a series of books on networking. An interesting introduction, but the concepts were not as well developed as in the books below. Currently out of print, though you could try Amazon.com.
The TeamNet Factor, Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps, John Wiley (1993). Insights and practical examples of virtual teaming based around five core principles: 1) Unifying Purpose; 2) Independent Members; 3) Voluntary Links 4) Multiple Leaders; 5) Connections at all levels. There are many good examples - large companies (e.g. McDonnel-Douglas), business networks (e.g. Denmark, Philadelphia) and associations (e.g. South USA). A good blend of key concepts and practical examples. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Virtual Teams: Reaching across Space, Time and Organizations with Technology, Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps. Don't be put off by the sub-title. OK you can read about NEC's 'worm-hole' (a videoconferencing set-up), but the book is really about taking advantage of global networking technology to apply the TeamNet principles. This book simplifies them to the three essentials of People, Purpose and Links. As with their other books, a good blend of concepts and practical examples. You probably don't need to buy this and TeamNet, so it a choice of whether you want a broader perspective (TeamNet) or something smaller and more focussed - this book. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, Vintage Books (1997). Not specifically about virtualization but a timely reminder that virtual technologies dulls our knowledge and understanding of the physical world. Explores the theme from the perspective of native Americans and other indigenous races. A really interesting read if you want something about virtualness that is slightly out of the ordinary. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Going Virtual: Moving Your Organization into the 21st Century, Ray Grenier, George Metes, Prentice Hall (1995). Covers different facets of 'virtual situations' - virtual operations, virtual corporation, virtual teams, virtual learning. Ranges from the strategic to practical hints on email, computer conferencing and assesing organizational readiness. Several chapters of check-lists. A useful book for practitioners. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Globalwork: Bridging, Distance, Culture & Time, Mary O'Hara-Devereaux and Robert Johansen, Jossey-Bass (1994). If you work in a multi-national organization and want to learn how to communicate over 10 time zones and different cultures, then this is for you. The book is based on the results of a reaearch project carried out for the Institute for the Future. A useful people and process focus. I found the description of the Drexler/Sibbert team Performance Model on how to build global teams really helpful.You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Groupware in the 21st Century, ed. Peter Lloyd, Adamantine (1994). The first of Peter Lloyd's trio of books on the subject. Sadly he died while in his prime so there will be no more. Contributions from a wide range of academic and management authors. Topics covered include future organization forms (e.g. networking), technology and tools, teamwork trends, innovations and education. There are some interesting scenarios in which futurologists paint alternative futures.Truly a landmark book.You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Transforming Organizations through Groupware: Lotus Notes in Action, eds. Peter Lloyd and Roger Whitehead, Springer (1996). After two introductory chapters by the editors, this is a set of 26 case studies covering a wide vairety of Lotus Notes implementations. Applications range from R&D to customer support, workflow to project management, and distance learning to virtual teams. It also covers a wide range of industries and geography. Many gems and practical lessons from those who have done it. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Virtual Corporation: Structuring and Revitalizing the Corporation for the 21st Century, W.H.Davidow and M.S.Malone, HarperBusiness (1993). One of the first paperbacks on the subject. Though many things seem obvious today they were probably not when written. A useful historical marker to go and revisit when you still see organizations struggling with the issues that are described here. You can buy this book at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
VONet - The Virtual Organization Network publishes a quarterly newsletter covering research in developments on the virtual organization and also the Journal of Organizational Virtualness (David Skyrme serves on the editorial board).
The Virtual Community: Surfing the Internet, Howard Rheingold, Minerva (1995). Ignore the diversionary sub-title which is clearly a marketing ploy. Howard was one of the first writers on the phenomenom of virtual communities, so he gives a graphic account of the origins of 'The Well' and how it evolved. There are chapters on grass-roots, group-minds amd real-time tribes. A truly golobal perspective and a fascinating airplane read. You can buy this book at Amazon.com.
Agile Competitors and Virtual Organizations, Steven L. Goldman, Roger N. Nagel and Kenneth Preiss, Van Nostrand Rheinhold (1995). Based on work on agility (especially in manufacturing industry at the Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University (Pennsylvania). It explores the concpets of agility and how alliances and sharing information across the supply chain can improve it. Quite dense reading in places, though end of chapter summaries help, and there are many real cases.Its almost worth buying just for ten pages of answers to eight common questions on the virtual organization e.g. What are its benefits? How do you make sure you gain strategic advantage by participating in a virtual organization? If you're in manufacturing industry this could be the 'virtual' book for you. You can buy the later edition of this book (published by John Wiley & Sons) at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
As in many other fields, there are many telework sites, some the promotional sites of vendors, others resource sites created by researchers and students. However, two stand out as authoritative sites that have links to almost any other telework site worth knowing about, as well as much original content:
European Telework Online. The world's foremost telework site. Although having a predominantly European focus, it has links and items of interests for teleworkers world-wide. There are country specific pages (over 25 countries and 15 languages), strategic analyses, papers and presentations, and an events calendar. Perhaps the most impressive part of the site is a searchable resources database, with over 1000 telework related entries (books, articles, online links etc.).
Gil Gordon's Telecommuting Web Site. Long established (1995) this US-based site offers useful guidance and a comprehensive set of resources, including telecommunting tools,many articles, international links. A wealth of information in one place.
Telecommuters. The original UK book on the subject of teleworking. As a futurist Francis was slightly ahead of his time - the numbers he predicted (viz. more than 20 per cent of the working population) are only now close to realization. Still, a good perspective with useful insights despite its age. Now out of print, but you could try Amazon.com.
The Teleworking Handbook: Working form Home in the Information Society, The Telework and Telecentres Association, Imogen Bertin and Alan Denbigh. The most practical handbook for any teleworker. This English edition has chapters on 'survival' (i.e. the basics and balancing home and work life), getting work, telecottages, staying safe and legal, disability and teleworking, and equipment. Now a standard reference, it is regularly updated and is also vailable in other European langague and country editions. You can buy this book at Amazon.co.uk.
We are always looking out for resources which give breakthrough ideas and/or practical management guidance and examples. If you know of such sites or resources which would enhance this list please contact David Skyrme Associates. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with details. Because of the rapid growth in this field, we will not be able to include them all, but we will do our best to review them and include the very best in future updates of our resource pages.
© Copyright 2000. David J. Skyrme. All rights reserved.
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Virtual Organizations etc. - Telework (Telecommuting) - KM Resources - Internet Imperatives - Innovation & Management
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