Crossing Learning Boundaries.
The Utility related Virtual Organisation ISES
Due to changing circumstances, organisations start to co-operate with
their competitors or with firms from other industries that can complement
their range of products. This development of independent partners sharing,
their resources and equipment with each other, can also be seen in the
Swedish utility industry and will soon happen to other utility businesses
after the deregulation of the European utility industry has become a fact.
The co-operation can be seen as a virtual organisation and this research
project investigates how virtual organisations operate and how partners
establish and maintain such an organisation. For this reason the R&D
virtual organisation ISES, formed by the utility related joint venture
EnerSearch AB, is taken as a case study. When comparing a virtual organisation
with traditional organisations, five boundaries are presented that can
both create and inhibit learning and communication. Since learning can
be viewed as a major objective of a virtual organisation, the five boundaries
are discussed in more detail and are related to empirical results in the
project ISES. These boundaries are time, space, diversity, structure and
distribution and are characteristics of a virtual organisation. By observing
this organisation, opportunities and obstacles of a virtual organisation
are found that could help organisations who would like to establish a
virtual organisation. One example is the difference in decision styles
or personality of the members of a virtual organisation, which influences
information distribution, communication and co-operation.
The entire paper in HTML format.