This textbook was inspired by an undergraduate elective course given on virtual organizations and technology. The instructor could not find a suitable text that covered both the organizational and technological aspects including examples based on today's industry. Other books were either too strategic or too technical for an audience of undergraduate business and technology students who were to use the book. But why was that the case? For the same reason that business and IT people in industry tended not to speak the same "language": indeed, the integration of technology into business strategy has been a recent occurrence, and traditional strategy issues have been decided too high in the organizational structure while technology was too detailed in tactical implementation. With the Internet and the advent of e-commerce, m-commerce, and c-commerce (and the other letters of the alphabet soon to follow), business and technology finally started to become closer, and the interest in technology as an enabler for strategic business decision-making evolved into a mainstream concept. How are we defining a virtual organization? Most definitions of the concept of virtual organizations start with stating that it is "a network between organisations or individuals . . . ". The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines 'virtual' as: "that is such/or practical purposes, though not in name or according to a strict definition. " An organization may be thought of as a number of individuals systematically united for some end or work.
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