Courier Exchange Description And Critical Analysis Of A Web Based Organization As Interface For A Virtual Community In Hyper Competitive Landscapes

4013 words - 16 pages








Thomas Kostrzewa

Coursework essay for

e-business option

"M21 - Web-Based Social Forms" submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MSc in E-business and Innovation


Ph. D. Richard Giordano

Birkbeck - University of London




In order to respond to the emergence of new competitive landscapes , most companies turn to new, more adaptive ways of doing their work. Driven by hyper-competition, change and complexity in today's period of globalisation and empowered by the internet, the ability to collaborate and share resources becomes key in the information age . (Hitt 2000,, Chaffey 2002, Castells 1996)

This paper demonstrates how web-based organizations facilitate new social forms of collaboration in a hyper-competitive environment and how novel information processing interacts with social and organizational forms in a reflexive real-time trial-and-error process called co-evolution (Tasaka 1999). It describes the application service provider (ASP) Courier Exchange (CX) as interface and facilitator of an online community and how its symbiotic relationships grounded in social bonding are necessary for a process of constant re-invention, design and change (Nardi/Whittaker).



The concept of co-evolution this paper uses is derived from Hiroshi Tasaka's "Emergence", a system interacts in a reflexive way within a complex social network (Barabasi 2003).

A web-based organization is a defined group of persons with one or more shared goals meeting and operating only in the internet (one can argue whether inbound/outbound phone calls transform such an organization into a "clicks-and-mortar" entity ).

Interface has many faces. The one applied for this paper is that "the interface is the application"(Leetaru 2004). And therefore not "a finished entity, but rather a point in an ongoing dialectical process" (PlumbDesignManifesto).

A virtual community is a computer-mediated social group, "are social aggregations that emerge from the Net"(Rheingold 1993).

A hyper-competitive environment is a "competitive landscape " where it is difficult to identify your competitors, because that may change in the future. Where ICT facilitates speed and mobility. Where globalization means the opening of global markets and hence global competition.

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