The socio-technical virtual organisation

Rob Smith, Rob Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A Virtual Organisation (VO) or Virtual Enterprise is a loosely-coupled group of collaborating organisations, acting to some extent as though they were part of a single organisation. This implies that they exhibit some properties of a conventional organisation without actually being one. In practice, this involves overcoming organisational boundaries, which tend to make collaborative working difficult. The authors of this chapter propose that this is a socio-technical problem, requiring both a technical (software) infrastructure and a sociological approach to building, deploying and operating the VOs supported by it. This joint approach can help to overcome some of the problems associated with collaborative working, ranging from poorly coordinated activity, to ineffective problem solving and decision-making. The authors describe a socio-technical approach to building and operating VOs in highly dynamic environments and present two factual scenarios from the chemical and health industries. They describe a platform supporting such VOs, which was developed as part of the EPSRC E-Science Pilot Project GOLD.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrid Technology for Maximizing Collaborative Decision Management and Support
Subtitle of host publicationAdvancing Effective Virtual Organizations
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781605663647
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The socio-technical virtual organisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this