The Challenge of Becoming Virtual

Publication Type:



Becoming Virtual, p.35 - 52 (2008)



On a cold and damp late autumn afternoon, Peter Fischer looked out from his sixth floor window to the city a few kilometers to the south. He was thinking about what he had just heard. A research group had just presented him with their preliminary observations on the preparedness of his organization to deal with the challenges of working as a virtual organization. Two months earlier, Fischer had shared his vision of the organization as a “Global Network Organization (GNO)” with his staff: There will be an increase in the dispersal and distribution of all permanent, contract and retainer staff. In this environment, a coherent and consistent view of the organization will be maintained, manifested in shared methods, values and work practices. This way of working will be facilitated by information and communications tools, such as the Internet, VOIP1 and intranets. New forms of workflow and management will evolve to meet new needs, and the organization will continue to be an attractive place to work and participate. Virtualization needs to be cost effective, and might even be a new form of service offering to clients.