How Virtuality Impacts the Way Teams Work
The possibility of working virtually is fast moving from the realm of science fiction to reality. Yet as companies increasingly move toward virtualizing work processes, the authors find that digitally mediated relationships can give rise to as many problems as solutions. This article discusses different types of virtual work arrangements that exist today and the impact that various types of virtual work can have on organizational processes and structures. Taking an example from the U.S. automobile industry, the authors highlight how a traditional industry must come to terms with the new organizational challenges occasioned by today's digitally mediated relationships. This case offers cautionary advice and lessons for other organizations that would turn to the virtual in the hope of reducing costs by replacing humans and objects with data and representations.