• E-technology and the emergent e-environment: Implications for organizational form and function

      Tassabehji, Rana; Wallace, James; Cornelius, Nelarine (2007)
      The advent of the Internet and e-commerce in the mid-to-late 20th century, has been instrumental in changing the landscape of the business environment. This has led to new management approaches and practices, mediated by advances in technology that are revolutionizing the workplace and continue to impact organizational structures and strategies. In this paper, we develop a taxonomy for IT and organizational theory from which we identify a pressing need for a conceptualisation of this rapid development in technology and its impact on organizational form. We introduce the concept of the e-environment to define the new and problem domain in which organizations are now operating as a consequence, particularly, of new technologies and the Internet. We explain how as the complexity of the technology increases, the ability to manage and appropriately exploit this e-environment under a traditional organizational form becomes more difficult. Currently, organizations are in the process of re-structuring to address this issue and facilitate continued strategic technological take-up to remain competitive. We posit the need for developing suitable organizational forms comprising both functional and technological specialists. We argue that the resulting forms are best explained by an extended model that can be seen as a composite of the existing forms. Finally, we present an executive reporting structure that will provide long-term top-level support for organizational decision making to manage the dynamic domain that is the e-environment. The advent of the Internet and e-commerce in the mid-to-late 20th century, has been instrumental in changing the landscape of the business environment. This has led to new management approaches and practices, mediated by advances in technology that are revolutionizing the workplace and continue to impact organizational structures and strategies. In this paper, we develop a taxonomy for IT and organizational theory from which we identify a pressing need for a conceptualisation of this rapid development in technology and its impact on organizational form. We introduce the concept of the e-environment to define the new and problem domain in which organizations are now operating as a consequence, particularly, of new technologies and the Internet. We explain how as the complexity of the technology increases, the ability to manage and appropriately exploit this e-environment under a traditional organizational form becomes more difficult. Currently, organizations are in the process of re-structuring to address this issue and facilitate continued strategic technological take-up to remain competitive. We posit the need for developing suitable organizational forms comprising both functional and technological specialists. We argue that the resulting forms are best explained by an extended model that can be seen as a composite of the existing forms. Finally, we present an executive reporting structure that will provide long-term top-level support for organizational decision making to manage the dynamic domain that is the e-environment.