Growing complexity in the business environment makes "business as usual" ineffective. (Keen, 1991) Globalization calls for communication and synchronization across diverse time zones and locations. Time constraints require reduction in reaction time, driving businesses to just-in-time inventory, orders, scheduling, payments, manufacturing, distribution, etc. Change has become the norm, an unpredictable basic reality.
The fresh economic cutting edge is the knowledge economy, and right now about 97% of all employment expansion is coming from knowledge work. Wealth today is generated principally by the value people add through new ideas. (Moyer, 1994) What members of these workgroups do is called collaborative work and they must often overcome barriers of time zones and geography to document what has been accomplished. (Stuck, 1995) To stay aggressive in today's business atmosphere requires new levels of collaboration and dexterity, both within and between organizations. Communications networks and IT are the tools that make possible this "working together apart," and telecommuting (or home working) is making workgroups more productive. (Stuck, 1995)
IT plays a fundamental role in supporting critical activities, enabling organizations to make efficient and effective changes in the manner in which work is performed (Turban, 1996) and offering real potential for changing the way in which people work (Daniels, 1995).
For example, the Internet provides a way for small businesses to create a virtual organization to complete projects (Blotzer, 1995). Companies are forming worldwide mutual provisions as the basis for developing a competitive advantage from technology (Bailetti, 1993). Coordination of IT management presents a real challenge to these firms which have to deal with detached, decentralized IT practices (DeSanctis, 1994). While decentralization may bring litheness and fast response to changing needs, it also makes systems integration difficult, presents' obstruction to standardization, and acts as a disincentive for achieving economies of scale (DeSanctis, 1994).
In juxtaposition with rapid changes in the business environment, the way in which business is conducted is also changing at a rapid pace. Groups, not individuals, have become the fundamental unit of work in modern organizations, with non-routine and new work most often being accomplished through teams, committees, or ad hoc workgroups (Finholt, 1990). Groups and group behavior are momentous for both organizational performance and individual group members. Computer-based technology may affect these groups and their behavior. At least some electronic groups behave