Faculty Book: Abbe Mowshowitz
Virtual Organization: Toward a Theory of Societal Transformation Stimulated by Information Technology
(Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002; 280 pp.)
With rapid changes in the power, speed, and reliability of digital communications, computers have become mediators between individuals—acting as brokers between buyers and sellers, employers and employees, and resources and work processes. Companies are no longer constrained by geography, and managers are able to oversee projects from great distances, moving work production from place to place—a process called "switching"—as cheap labor pools open up. Virtual Organization analyzes this phenomenon, which has replaced traditional models of organization, including the ways in which "switching" weakens personal, political, and business loyalties. Abbe Mowshowitz, professor of computer science at City College and The Graduate Center, compellingly describes a new feudal system in the making, in which power and authority are vested in private hands but which is based on globally distributed resources rather than on possession of land.
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Submitted on: MAR 30, 2002