February 10, 2009

Uniting the Virtual Workforce

In this internet age, new challenges are introduced into the way we work. Sobel Lojeski and Reilly introduce the concept of virtual distance in this book. They define it to have three major components. The first of these is physical distance, including geographic distance, time zones, or space across an organizational chart. The second component is operational distance caused by technological problems, communication barriers, and multitasking. The third of these is affinity distance. This factor includes personality differences, cultural differences, social differences, working relationships and preferences, and other variations in peoples interdependence on others. Sobel Lojeski and Reilly consider each of these three components as if it were an axis on a 3-dimensional plot. When two individuals are plotted, the virtual distance between them can be determined. While interesting at the level of single individuals, doing this for an entire department or organization points out real challenges to doing business today. Chapters focus on stratgies to overcome virtual distance in areas of collaboration, innovation, leadership, and work productivity. Discussion of psychological distance as well as physical distance is critical to measuring and managing the impact of working to overcome virtual distance. This book is relevant to all organizations today, but is particularly appropriate for USACE because of its wide geographical workforce distribution, organizational diversity, and wide range of perspectives on the effectiveness of technology and communication being used to link people virtually.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Uniting the Virtual Workforce: Transforming Leadership and Innovation in the Globally Integrated Enterprise
Karen Sobel Lojeski and Richard R. Reilly
HD 66 .S648 2008