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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Reliability seeking virtual organizations: Challenges for high reliability organizations and resilience engineering

 Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com

Special Issue Article: HRO and RE

Reliability seeking virtual organizations: Challenges for high reliability organizations and resilience engineering

  • a Information
    Systems Program, Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College, 1419 Salt
    Springs Road, Syracuse, NY 13214, United States
  • b Department
    of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic
    Institute, 110 8th Street, CII 5015, Troy, NY 12180-3590, United States
  • c Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, United States

Highlights

Describes and compares high reliability organizations (HROs), resilient organizations and the emergence of reliability-seeking virtual organizations (RSVOs).
Explicates the challenges that reliability seeking virtual organizations (RSVOs) pose for high reliability and resilient organizations.
Describes a test case for RSVOs, distributed offshore oil and gas systems, using the example of the challenges presented during the Deepwater Horizon event.
Requirements for fluidity in and across RSVO organizational structures and the forms that fluidity can assume are described.
Describes when a virtual organization is not highly reliable or resilient.
Describes future RSVO challenges in remote settings with little infrastructure and concludes with an agenda for future research.

Abstract

High
reliability organizing is an important approach to crisis prevention
and mitigation. Resilience is a term that has been used to describe an
organization’s ability to respond or ‘bounce back’ from untoward,
surprising or disruptive events. A growing number of organizations have
increased mandates for maintaining safety, reliability and resilience;
some of these are also virtual or semi virtual
organizations—geographically distributed organizations whose members are
bound by a long-term common interest or goal, and who largely
communicate and coordinate their work through information technology.
The objective of this paper is to explicate the challenges that
reliability-seeking virtual organizations (RSVOs) pose for high
reliability and resilient organizations, based on what is known about
high reliability organizations (HROs) and resilient organizations, and
what can be surmised about RSVOs. We begin by exploring a test case for
RSVOs, distributed offshore oil and gas systems, using the example of
the challenges presented during the Deepwater Horizon event.
Since a common characteristic of resilient and reliable organizations is
fluidity in organizational structures, we examine requirements for
fluidity in and across RSVO organizational structures and the forms that
fluidity can assume, leaning on our understanding of the role of
fluidity in HROs and resilient organizations, and suggesting challenges
posed by these different forms of interconnectedness. We then follow
with a discussion of when a virtual organization is not highly reliable
or resilient. We describe future RSVO challenges in remote settings with
little infrastructure, such as Arctic energy exploration and
development and IT-enabled healthcare systems in third world countries,
and conclude with an agenda for future research.

Keywords

  • High reliability organizations;
  • Resilience;
  • Reliability seeking;
  • Virtual organizations;
  • Extended networks;
  • Interdependency;
  • Large-scale networks


Reliability seeking virtual organizations: Challenges for high reliability organizations and resilience engineering

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