Many grand challenges facing society today – those in education, cyberlearning, health care, environmental sustainability, climate change, and disaster response – require complex collaboration in virtual organizations. Virtual organizations consist of individuals, teams, and subsystems of teams, operating within a larger collective ecosystem. A foundational feature of virtual organizations is that members are distributed and interact with one another using informational technology. Spawned by rapid trends towards globalization and digitization, virtual organizations have evolved into the organizational landscape, and a decade of intensive interdisciplinary research has aimed to understanding the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of virtual organizations. Knowledge creation in the area of virtual organizations faces the significant hurdle of interdisciplinarity – the complexity of virtual organizations requires the deep expertise of many disciplines including computer science, information and decision sciences, communication, management, and psychology, to name a few. We submit that a perfect storm is forming around the science of virtual organizations. The next challenge, the one enabling unimaginable possibilities, is the national initiative on big data. Undoubtedly, this initiative will usher in extraordinary advances in data collection and curation, advanced analytics, and data infrastructure. Parallel advancements are needed in the social sciences to develop a community of next-generation scientists prepared to capitalize on advancements stemming from the big data initiative. The social sciences, which are critical to cracking the code of virtual organizational functioning, are presently ill equipped to capitalize on the enormous possibilities of big social science data. This proposal advances a Research Coordination Network focused on capacity-building in the social sciences.
|Effective start/end date||1/1/13 → 12/31/15|
- National Science Foundation (OCI-1244747)
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