The production and service of the 21st century is based on distributed or networked organizations. The denomination of these organizations can be different (extended-, virtual-, smart-organization, etc.), but there are some main important common characteristics. In this type of organizations, flexible, independent organizational and production units are working together, reacting in an intelligent way to the challenges and uncertainty of the environment while using some type of communication network (wired or wireless). In case of the so-called “smart organizations,” the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT), knowledge and organizational networks form the background of operation.
As the base of networked organizations is the interdependent, separate production and service teams and units, the cooperation and collaboration among them is of vital importance. The structure, the communication systems, and the collaborating people, teams, and organizations that define today’s organizations characteristics must be harmonized to accomplish complex, demanding tasks. The collaboration means contacts among users, so human beings have outstanding importance in the operation.
According to experience, the improper application of this human factor can make the operation very inefficient, even in the case of the technically most advanced systems. The lowest level of connection among systems is made through protocols; the highest contact level is among the decision-makers, the human connections. A very important element of this human contact is the trust. In a smart organization, trust is the flavor, the medium in which players are moving. Only trust can bridge the cultural, geographical, and organizational distances of humans (and even of firms) avoiding problematic situations.
About the Author
Istvan Mezgar is a senior researcher at the Computer and Automation Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary, and an associate professor at the Department of Production Informatics, Management and Control, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. He holds a Ph.D. from the Technical University of Budapest. He is a member of the editorial board of numerous international journals, has more then 130 scientific publications at international forums. His current interests focus on smart organizations, communication networks and their security, trust building and smart card technology.