RESEARCH ARTICLES | RISK + CRYSTAL BALL + ANALYTICS

 

Collaboration and TechnologyOrganizations seeking to develop a virtual business model must also be in a position to effectively implement it on a business level and on a technological level. (Venkatraman, 1994; Venkatraman & Henderson, 1993,1998).
 
One of today’s hottest IT topics is how to cheaply and effectively inter-connect processes. Collaboration emerged out of the relative cheapness and ubiquity of Internet technologies. Champy (2002) states ”E-business is a natural reaction to today’s competitive environment[i]. But e-business means a lot of things to a lot of people. In current literature, e-business has taken on several definitions over time i.e.:
 
·         Strategic approach
·         A set of enabling technologies (Porter, 2001),
 
Since technology is a critical success factor to any virtual organizing strategy, the analysis of e-business is interesting due to its business focus and its ability to flexibly and rapidly support changing business needs and requirements. In essence, e-business is a composite of the above-mentioned perspectives and whose definition can be used inter-changeably with virtual organizing because of its open technologies and collaborative strategies.

 

How should you look at processes when designing a virtual organization?

In order to effectively manage activities across organizations' it becomes critical to have certain processes in place to manage as well as measure performance and quality (Hammer, 2001; Champy, 2002; P-CMM v2.00, July 2001). According to Venkatraman (1994), organizations seeking to effectively integrate with business partners must first get their house in order through the use of BPR – Business Process Redesign/Re-engineering. Hammer (2001) says that for those who have re-engineered their internal business processes and extracted most of the value available internally, must now look at integrating and re-engineering externally to yield the next gains in value and profitability.

 

This article highlights and discusses Venkatraman and Henderson's take on the various vectors of Virtual Strategy.

What is a virtual strategy? What does it cover within the company? Who is affected? Who benefits? Venkatraman & Henderson (1998) reflect these questions in a 3 vector and 3 stages model (presented in Figure 5) that is aligned in spirit with Chesbrough & Teece's view that no one formally defined structure will ensure the success of a virtual organization.

This article covers the competencies, resources and assets that must be developped when making the transition to virtual organizing

A variety of authors have generated lists of firm capabilities and resources that may enable firms to conceive of and implement value-creating strategies (Barney, 1991; Bharadwaj, 2000).

In order to better define Venkatraman & Henderson's virtual organization, we have broken it down into components that are inspired by Barneys' (1991) three generic resource types and Nitin Nohria's (2003) model of organizational competencies; competencies that have characterized firms who performed exceptionally and developed or maintained a leadership position over the last 10 years. Nohria also suggests that to achieve overall success you need to excel in all 4 primary competencies and at least 2 of the secondary (See Figure 3). However Nohria emphasizes execution as primary means of success and differentiation.

IBM PC - A virtual EnterpriseTraditional definitions of the Virtual Organization have mostly taken a commodity-based, view of the interactions among partners (Kanter, 1994; Chesborough & Teece, 1996). One of the most notable examples of this type of virtual strategy to produce and deliver a product is the IBM PC. The early success of this venture was based on the same principals as those presented by Chesbrough & Teece's (1996) definition of a virtual organization:

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