The Information Age has ushered in a whole new competitive virtual marketplace for traditional brick-and-mortar organizations to compete with in the tough competitive global markets of the 21st century economy. The ability of virtual organizations to easily advertise and market their products through the internet and social medias have created a potentially limitless clientele through the utilization of a mass mediated approach that has historically been unavailable to traditional brick-and-mortar organizations.
Rapidly changing markets have created volatile rivalries for competitive market-shares inspiring organizations to scramble to create rapid organizational changes in order to remain competitive meeting stakeholder preferences, as well as forecasting market trends and demands in an international marketplace.
Both virtual and brick-and-mortar organizations must utilize complex adaptive change systems to learn new organizational practices that will enable organizations to adapt and improve making them competitive in the evolutionary marketplace of modern society. Organizations that have enough organizational flexibility to successfully implement and incorporate strategic change into their organizational environments by implementing sustainable continuous improvement programs that have the ability to transform unforeseen problems into opportunities to thrive, will ensure long-term organizational success (Williams-Atwood, 2011).
Virtual Organizations vs. Brick-and-Mortar
Often, members of brick-and-mortar organizations have the opportunity to build a bonding atmosphere of community. Johnston (2006) defined community as acknowledging organizational members as being in a relationship with one another. Communities work best when “people are actively engaged with one another, when all members participate as student and teacher, expert and apprentice, exchanging rich learning experiences” (Wheatley, 2007, p.173). These organizational bonding experiences often involve face-to-face interchanges experienced through common work experiences which create opportunities for individuals to develop deep meaningful relationships based not only on verbal communication but non-verbal interactions such as body language. Face-to-face communication also gives organizational members the ability to receive immediate feedback and clarification, which is often unavailable in virtual organizations.
In contrast, virtual organizations often consist of isolated individuals that perform business functions from distant locations rarely having to opportunity to collaborate with one another through face to face exchanges, leaving organizational members to conduct business through e-mail, webinars and other social networking communication software in order to collaborate with organizational members. The lack of face-to-face communication tends to create opportunities for miscommunication due to lack of non-verbal communication cues being available to...