This paper reports on a study of the “switching model” of virtual organization. A computer program (voSwitch) has been developed and implemented as a first approximation to a quantitative version of the model. The switching model interprets virtual organization as a management paradigm, rather than as a particular form or type of organization. In this view, “virtuality” is a matter of degree rather than of kind. That is to say, some functions, processes or structures within a given firm or enterprise may be organized virtually and others not. The switching model captures the flexibility and leverage that can be achieved when managers maintain a strict logical separation between the requirements of a task and the means for satisfying those requirements. Switching is an important element in many definitions of virtual organization in the literature and thus the model offers a useful theoretical framework for empirical investigation of hypotheses about virtual organization. The research described in this paper has two major objectives: 1) to develop a precise, quantitative framework for the switching model of virtual organization that helps to specify the model’s domain of applicability; and 2) to demonstrate a quantitative instrument that shows the utility of the switching model and lays the foundation for development of a decision-support tool.
Mowshowitz, Abbe and Kawaguchi, Akira
"Quantifiying the Switching Model of Virtual Organization,"
Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application (JITTA):
4, Article 7.
Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/jitta/vol6/iss4/7