Smart Organisations: A New Relationship between Organisations and Individuals in the Digital Age
Keywords:Digital transformation, smart organisation, smart working, socio-technical approach
In recent years, there has been a tendency among some companies and businesses to increasingly transform themselves into virtual organisations where barriers of time and space are overcome and where work is no longer constrained by traditional concepts of working in factories or offices. Technological developments and the adoption of digital platforms such as Yammer, Zoom, Slack, Cisco Webex, only to name but a few, are revolutionising the very concept of organisations, considered now as virtual entities, technologically advanced and without borders. The emergence of new technologies in an increasingly digital knowledge-based economy makes working flexibly possible. People can work anywhere and at any time (Hu, 2019), and each employee can work ‘alone but together’ (Spinuzzi, 2012). Smart organisations represent that organisational model that seems to be more suitable to face these challenges and continuous changes. These lean and extremely flexible organisations are characterised by new operational and functioning mechanisms and are based on elements such as keys, people and technologies that interact with each other constantly and continuously with dynamism, flexibility and speed. It is possible to consider “[…] smart organizations as an open and complex socio-technical system, together with the aspirations, behaviours and values of internal individuals” (Bednar and Welch, 2020: 290).
In light of a socio-technical perspective, the need therefore emerges to adopt new lean and flexible organisations capable of dynamically integrating technical systems (i.e., advanced digital technologies) and social systems (i.e., people, culture, objectives, procedures and structures; see Imran et al., 2021) in order to be more competitive and achieve better performance.
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