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CBI Series in Practical Strategy, Virtual Organizations and Beyond: Discovering Imaginary Systems

ISBN: 978-0-471-97493-2
250 pages
October 1997
CBI Series in Practical Strategy, Virtual Organizations and Beyond: Discovering Imaginary Systems (0471974935) cover image


The virtual organization is a form where only what is used has to be paid for. It has the capability of the real organization, but does not itself have the tangible facilities and permanent employees that is the traditional way of meeting the requirements of customer. It is a concept which gives flexibility, lower overall cost, and reduces the capital needs of a business. It is equally applicable to new and established businesses, and can provide both with a means of achieving success in business development and renewal.
Like others in this series, this book provides a practical guide for managers and entrepreneurs. It shows how those with vision and energy, who do not have the facilities of a large traditional company, can nevertheless achieve success, with no competitive disadvantages. The book shows how to expand and grow without enlarging the organization, and how to gain access to competences without employing more staff.
Well illustrated with case histories and examples, the book reflects the experience of the authors in actually applying the concepts they write about. Checklists and questionnaires are provided where they are helpful. Practical experience is supported by research, and the result is a practical guide to setting up and managing this new form of organization.
'Bo Hedberg is again out in front and leading us into the future of management. Managerial insight and advanced technology are making it possible to create coalitions with the advantages of both markets and hierarchical organizations. In this book, Hedberg and his colleagues explain how these coalitions work and what they need to work best'. William H. Starbuck, ITT Professor of Creative Management, Stern School of Business, New York University
'Professor Hedberg's and his colleagues' pioneering work in identifying and highlighting what makes virtual organizations tick is very timely. The competitive environment in financial services requires that highly motivated professionals voluntarily share their best ideas and dreams with their leaders to ensure customer satisfaction. The authors have rightly identified this crucial point in our success story.' Jan R. Carendi, Senior Executive Vice president, Skandia AB and Chief Executive Officer, Skandia Assurance & Financial Services.
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Table of Contents

The Imaginary Organization: Discover a New Perspective.

The Imaginary Organization: Related Theories and Perspectives.

Patterns of Creation, Renovation, and Extension.

Examples of Successful Creation, Renovation, and Extension.




Observations from the Case Studies.

Focusing Strategy on Core Competence.

Cultivating the Involvees.

Management Control.

Financing and Ownership.

Leadership: More Managing by Fewer Managers.

Creation, Renovation, and Extension: A Summary.



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Author Information

Bo Hedberg is currently Professor of Management and Chairman of the PhD Program at Stockholm School of Business, Stockholm University. He has worked as a consultant to, among others, The World Bank, IBM, Daimler-Benz and Skandia Insurance Group. His specialist areas include organizational learning and design, management information systems, service management and virtual organizations. Göran Dahlgren took his PhD at the Stockholm School of Economics. As a consultant, he has advised companies on marketing and strategic change. He is the author of several books in Swedish. Jörgen Hansson worked as personnel director of leading Swedish corporations and is now a consultant, mainly supporting companies in their development of competitive HR strategies linked to their business. He has written in the area of human resources and management development. Nils-Göran Olve is Adjunct Professor at Linköping University. He worked extensively in management training, including acting as director of international management programmes. As a consultant, his work currently concentrates on management control issues, in particular the Balanced Scorecard and management of IT. All four authors are senior partners in CEPRO Management Consultants in Stockholm.
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