Towards the theory of Virtual Organisations : A description of their formation and figure
Recently it has seemed to be more important clarifying the vital prerequisites for the formation of Virtual Organisations than discussing theoretical aspects of their eventual appearance. Great significance has to be attributed to information and communication technologies when examining these conditions. Often, they even have the status as ... 'enablers'. According to the transaction-cost theory organisations come into existence when the coordination of transactions through hierarchies is more advantageous than the coordination through markets. It shall be elucidated why Virtual Organisations are considered inter-median forms of organisation between the two poles of market and hierarchy. The figure of Virtual Organisations will be compared with other similar forms of organisation. Different forms of transactions shall be developed and, with reference to the key topic, be standardised. Despite the basically empirical limitations of the transaction-cost theory, the distinguishing features are the use of diverse information and communication technologies. A scheme for analysis is developed to evaluate the contributions of existing and future information and communication systems to the formation of Virtual Organisations. Technologies like Internet, multi-media communication systems and Electronic Data Interchange will be discussed in detail.