Virtualizing the Virtual

  • Neil C. Ramiller
Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 236)


This essay advances a supplementary definition of “the virtual” that is aimed at helping our research community speak more clearly to the organizational changes and the place-time reinventions taking place in connection with the virtual in the more customary sense(s) of that term. The intent in linking the issue of definition to organizational transformation is not to make proposals about the specific forms, functions, and reinventions that might, or ought to, appear, but rather to reflect on the processes through which such changes, whatever their character, come about. Adapting Deleuze’s conceptualization of the virtual, I extend virtuality to include the imaginary and fictitious. The focus, in particular, is on the kind of fiction that, in Latour’s phrasing, is “seeking to come true”; thus, our interest is in the fictionalizations in which real actors engage as they struggle discursively to construct their future realities. This calls for attention to the social and political context and, more specifically, to the manner in which the privileges of “author-ity,” for fictionalization, impact what is actualized as organizational structure and practice. The paper concludes with a consideration of the implications for research practice of viewing IT-enabled change, like that which is producing virtual work and virtual organizations, as a form of authorship.


Virtual Work Literary Criticism Organizational Innovation Virtual Organization Information System Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil C. Ramiller
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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