Virtual Organizations

The term virtual organization is a relatively new idea, adopted at the start of the 1990s. The term describes a network of independent individuals or companies connected together for a particular service or product. A virtual organization, usually, has a virtual leadership, virtual teams, and a virtual office. The final goal or objective of a virtual organization is to proffer creative and high-quality services or products, to meet instantaneous demands of customers.

The word virtual has its origin in the computer industry. Whenever a computer seems to possess more storage capability than it actually has, the industry refers to it as a virtual memory. Similarly, whenever an organization brings together various resources from different firms or places, it becomes a virtual organization, as it appears to possess more abilities than its actual capabilities.

Traditional organizations incorporated work vertically by delegating authority in a hierarchical or a pyramidal structure. A small number of individuals possessed power, which they used to manage others. The hierarchical structure of organizations developed in the U.S towards the end of 19th century due to the introduction of mass production strategy. Frederick Winslow introduced the concept for highly complex operations and processes like the automobile assembly. Hierarchical companies controlled every activity, from acquisition of raw material to distribution of finished goods or services through a centralized executive.

Between the end of the Second World War and the beginning of 1980s, companies increasingly built many levels of management. Each level consisted of specialists. However, during the early part of 1980s, various companies discovered that the system of management was not agile to the changing business environment. Due to the demands for a new system, many companies flatten their management structures. They did this in response to global competition, new expectations of customers, rapid change, complexity, and due to availability and great use of new technology. .

The flatten structure of management led to reduced need for middle management and supervisors. It also led to quick decision making and thus, to high agility of organizations. The resulting organizations formed were virtual organizations, which empowered their workers and employed just-in-time strategy. Considering all these factors, one of the best examples of virtual organizations is the WritersDepartment. Even though, this company has its offices in London, UK and Orlando, U.S, it workforce is spread all over the English-speaking world. Again, its customers are in every part of the world. There is thus, a sense of autonomy and use of technology for connection, which make it a virtual organization..

In conclusion, a virtual organization is a group of independent individuals or firms connected for production of a particular service or product. It has a virtual leadership, virtual teams, and a virtual office and thus, WritersDepartment is the best example. The changes in the business environment led to the formation of virtual organizations by causing the flattening of hierarchical structure of management..


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