Bridging Distances in the Virtual Organization
With geographic dispersion, organizations find that they have to learn how to manage distances – not merely physical distance but a whole host of other distances as well. In this book, they are referred to as Virtual Distances. Sustainability of competitive advantage in dispersed organizational arrangements depends significantly on an organization’s ability to operate seamlessly across multiple boundaries and associated distances. Several factors can contribute to each of these distances. The first part of this chapter identifies some of these distances. It posits that identifying and bridging such distances have an important role to play in determining the quality of outcomes in a VO. It provides a framework to depict these distances in the context of the organization and discusses its implications to organizational outcomes.
The second part of this chapter provides the conceptual framework to assess the robustness of the VO, given these distances. A clear understanding of the potential weak links in a VO can aid managerial decision-making and help evolve a suitable set of interventions that might be required to bridge distances. When technology is used to bridge distances, it throws open a set of new vulnerabilities. It is extremely critical to recognize these vulnerabilities and identify where they are likely to arise. Mechanisms to identify, localize and address these vulnerabilities are discussed.
The third segment takes the discussions to the next granularity of detail. It takes a close look at one such distance, viz., the Knowledge Distance within the VO. A detailed methodology based on benchmarking using role simulations is presented to show how a detailed understanding and objective measurement of the distances can help managerial decision-making in a very significant way.
KeywordsService Provider Business Process Knowledge Level Temporal Distance Virtual Organization
- 1.Majchrzak A, Malhotra A, Chai L (2000) Different strokes for different folks: Managing and enabling virtual teams. In: AMCIS 2002 proceedings, paper 286Google Scholar
- 2.Pinto VS (2011) Failed JVs force Godrej to go shopping, Business Standard, 22 July 2011. http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/failed-jvs-force-godrej-to-go-shopping-111072200039_1.html. Accessed 12 July 2015
- 4.Espinosa JA, Cummings JN, Wilson JM, Pearce BM (2003) Team boundary issues across multiple global firms. J Manag Inf Syst 19(4):157–190Google Scholar
- 5.Gallant P (2014) 10 biggest overseas blunders. HSBC Global Connections, 10 April 2014Google Scholar
- 6.Das G, Madhavan N (2014) Death of a Dream, Business Today. 17 Aug. 2014. http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/nokia-chennai-plant-nokia-tax-dispute-vrs/1/208580.html Accessed 5 July 2015
- 8.Venkatraman N (1997) Beyond geo-sourcing: managing IT resources as a value centre. Sloan Manag Rev 38(3, Spring):51–64Google Scholar