Adoption of Communication Media in Virtual Organisations - Case Evidence of Structural Dilemmas

Riemer Kai, Vehring Nadine, Klein Stefan

Communication technology is a field of significant innovation: at a fast pace new systems are being introduced in the market. At the same time, advances in ICT drive the emergence of new organisational forms such as the virtual organisation (VO). The VO is regarded a concept that provides firms with the necessary flexibility in changing markets. Modern ICT, i.e. communication systems and tools, is seen as the basis for work in the VO, where people with different competencies come together in short-term projects to exploit market opportunities. Yet the contingencies of adoption and use of communication systems in complex organisational environments are only poorly understood. While literature claims that modern ICT is at the heart of the VO, our case evidence paints a different picture ? only very lean media are used. We analysed communication practices at the group level using genre analysis. This leads us to formulate inherent dilemmas of the VO: Ultimately, it is the very structures of the VO that impede the emergence of communication practices and thus the adoption and diffusion of new ICTs.

Communication systems; adoption; virtual organisation; distributed work; virtual teams

Publication type
Research article in proceedings (conference)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


16th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)

Galway (IRL)