The word 'virtual' describes work that spans one or more discontinuities. The term has been applied to work where people are in discontinuous physical work locations, where work is done in discontinuous time frames, where people have discontinuous organizational affiliations (Watson-Manheim, Crowston & Chudoba (2002)). Community is an important aspect of life for most people. Cooley (1983) states that all normal humans have a natural affinity for community. He suggests that the primary factor inhibiting the formation of communities, no matter what their scale, is that they are difficult to organise. Extending the moral ideas inherent in nearly all individuals to the notion of community requires a system or institutional framework. The development and maintenance of such institutions sap the energy of the members of the would-be community and confuse the moral ideals inherent in the notion of community with the project of the institution itself (Fernback & Thompson (1995)). Given the development of new communications technologies we need to continuously examine the new relations and their potential for new or renewed relationships that arise in this context. Alongside these developments researchers have been advocating the need for a fundamental revision of software technology support in organisations for some time (Wood & Wood-Harper (1993)). However, few have proposed a basis upon which this progress can be made. This paper argues that new technological forms must recognise that organisational members act in fluid ways and, that organisations are moving towards flexible forms in virtual space. It thus attempts to address this gap in the academic literature, as well as in common practice. The paradigm proposed here is based upon a model of IT, which views organisations in terms of roles operating in particular settings or 'scenarios'. The remainder of this paper briefly reviews a new solution based upon this role-scenario paradigm. ...
|Title of host publication
|Information Systems Development: Advances in Methodologies, Components and Management
|Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
|Published - 2003