E-Collaboration systems in Virtual Organizations - Recommendations for tool support based on genre analysis
Riemer Kai, Vehring Nadine
Advances in ICT have led to the proliferation of new organizational forms such as the virtual organization (VO). In fact, ICT is seen as the key enabler of VO. However, the notion of ICT in the VO literature is quite generic. Moreover, the VO itself is not well understood in regards to the actual work practices at the group level. Using a case study approach we investigate a subsidiary of a large multi-national electronics firm, which resembles the typical structures associated with a VO: a distinction of a long-term pool of competencies and the flexible configuration of geographically dispersed, short-term projects. We have analyzed communication practices using genre analysis. The contribution of our study is twofold: first, we provide an empirical account of communication practices (and their differences) in VO pool and projects. Second, we discuss appropriate e-collaboration systems to support the identified communication practices on pool and project-level. We conclude with some implications for future research.