Virtual Workplace

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Overview

The current merging of computer and communication technologies is facilitating the trend toward the virtual workplace. As the growth in the virtual workplace accelerates, organizations face new challenges to cope with their new organizational structure. The Virtual Workplace explores the forces that are driving this phenomenon and the consequential issues and problems that will influence the globalization of the virtual workplace by offering a wide and rich array of factors such as social issues, legal concerns and performance compensations. It examines the creation of the virtual workplace, its management and expected impacts of consequences on individuals, groups, organizations, societies and nations. It focuses on what organizations and individuals need to know and understand to succeed in the changing environment of the workplace. To understand these challenges, organizations need to develop strategies to support what Peter Drucker called "moving work to where people are, rather than people to where the work is." Information technologies are playing a key role in enabling people to work at a distance from a central conventional office. This book will teach you what the virtual workplace is, what forms it takes, how to make it work successfully, how to avoid some common problems, how information technology can enable individuals and organizations to successfully implement the virtual workplace and what its impact will be.

Dr. Magid Igbaria is a Professor of Information Science at the Claremont Graduate University. He has published articles on computer technology acceptance, IS personnel, management of IS, economics of computers and international IS in publications such as Applied Statistics, Behaviour and Information Technology, Journal of MIS, Omega, Decision Support Systems and MIS Quarterly. His current research interests focus upon information and computer economics, virtual workplace, telework, computer technology acceptance and management of IS.

Dr. Margaret Tan is a senior lecturer in the Department of Decision Sciences and Graduate School of Business, Faculty of Business Administration at the National University of Singapore. She is the founder and currently the Chair of the Executive Committee of PACIS (Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems), Chair of the Asian Assembly for the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS, and Councillor of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) for the Asia Pacific.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Documentation
Overall, I would recommend this as a reasonable sourcebook on current research and issues related to the virtual workplace.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Working Together in Global Virtual Teams-Kathleen Knoll and Sirkka Jarvenpaa 2
Health, Well-Being, and Organizational Effectiveness in the Virtual Workplace-Stewart Donaldson & Rachel Weiss 24
The Business Benefits of the Virtual Organization-David Grimshaw & F.T. Sandy Kwok 45
The Use of Information Technology in Virtual Organizations-Jonathan Palmer 71
Distance Training in the Virtual Workplace-Tammy Whalen & David Wright 87
Enabling Virtual Workplaces with Advanced Workflow Management Systems-Michael Amberg & Frank Zimmermann 108
The Development of a Process for the Virtual Consultancy-Pat Hough & Ciaran Murphy 125
Cities in the Information Age: A Scandinavian Perspective-Ken Friedman 144
Adopting Simulation Models from Military to Academics and Industry-J. David Hamby & Chetan Sankar 177
Collaborative Notebooks for the Virtual Workplace-Phil Turner, Susan Turner, Sue Green & Phil Mayne 187
Information Exchange in Virtual Work Groups-Ross Hightower, Lutfus Sayeed, Merrill Warkentin & Roger McHaney 199
Telework and the Balance between Work and Family: Is Telework Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?-Linda Duxbury, Christopher Higgins & Derrick Neufeld 218
The Microeconomics of Remote Work-Ralph Westfall 256
The Professor as Teleworker-Ruth Guthrie, Patrick Olson & Donna Schaeffer 288
Team-Telework and the New Geographical Flexibility for Information Workers-Feng Li 301
The Mobile Workforce: Strategic Opportunity, Competitive Necessity-Bruce Rollier & Yihwa Irene Liou 319
A Review of the Empirical Research on Telecommuting and Directions for Future Research-Donna Weaver McCloskey & Magid Igbaria 338
Virtual Corporations and American Labor Unions: So Many Unknowns, So Much Potential-Arthur Shostak 360
Group Development in the Virtual Workplace: The Story of a Strike-Celia Romm & Nava Pliskin 368
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Preface

The current merging of computer and communication technologies is facilitating the trend toward the virtual workplace. As the growth in the virtual workplace accelerates, organizations face new challenges to cope with their new organizational structure. Some of these new challenges organizations face include understanding the emergent work environment, the changing social work order, and the dynamic requirements of the knowledge worker. It is, indeed, challenging for organizations to manage the complexity of the new social and work structure that is exacerbated by the increasing mobility of the new type of office workers. For example, a challenge which most organizations face is the increasing difficulty to attract and retain a good skilled workforce. To effectively meet these challenges, management needs to develop strategies to support what is called "moving work to where people are, rather than people to where the work is." Thus, in order to maintain its status quo and also be comparatively competitive, management not only needs to understand the new structure but also must take innovative steps to adopt new organizational forms and arrangements to accommodate the increasingly diverse workplace.

The recent rapid and ongoing advent of information infrastructure and superhighways in many nations is prompting fast transformation of the organizations toward the virtual workplace. The term virtual workplace, used in this book, is defined as an omnipotent workplace that encapsulates all aspects of the social and culture forms of the logical as well as physical facets of working life. An organizational culture once based exclusively on physical contact is in the process of being transformed to one where goods and services are accessible without the need for face-to-face contact with other people. Indeed, information and communication technologies have enabled the transformation toward a virtual workplace. More interestingly, telecommunication technology is the glue that makes virtual societies possible. However, technology alone does not guarantee the viability of the virtual workplace. An informed population must also use the technological power intelligently and deliberately.

It is interesting to note that companies are no longer talking about "work at home" programs, rather, they are speaking about "working anywhere, anytime, and with anyone." The concept is quickly becoming a reality where connectivity, collaborations, and communication are easy using laptops, facsimiles, cellular telephones, networks, electronic mail, and voice mail. The virtual workplace may well be the standard mode of conducting commerce in the 21st century. After all, does it matter whether that critical voice-mail or message comes from the home office, the client's office, the airport, or in the middle of a traffic jam? Such organizational transformations may have minimal effects on some people, yet for others, it may bring about radical changes in their workspace and their lifestyles and habits. Since there is no clear definition as to who falls into which category, there is both fear and paranoia about changes to people's subsistence in the future. The equidistant position exists where people are expected to participate actively in the virtual workplace and yet not understanding the impact of the transformations when companies are triggered to design the workplace of the future.

The chapters in this book discuss the concepts of the virtual workplace in an effort to explore the forces that are driving this phenomenon and the consequential issues and problems that will influence the globalization of the virtual workplace. The Virtual Workplace provides a forum for practitioners, researchers and policy makers for exchanging ideas on the adoption of the leading-edge telecommunication and information technologies related to the virtual workplace and the impact of these technologies on individuals, groups, organizations, societies, and nations. Chapters are drawn from a variety of disciplines discussing a range of topics on virtual corporations, virtual groups, virtual communities, and teleworking. Written in provocative, analytical, empirical, and case-based study approach, the chapters help us in advancing our understanding of the virtual workplace in relationship to the new computer and communication information technologies, people, and organizations in the world.

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