Fifth Generation Work - Virtual Organization

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  Fifth generation work -- work or play that takes place anytime and anywhere with anyone with an interest in the outcome.  5GW operates in virtual space with only a few limits in time and space. 

First generation work was essentially hunting and gathering; second generation work started farming the land and raising crops and other food products; third generation work moved to cities with factories and small businesses; and fourth generation work moved to the office.  Now, it is possible to perform organizational work from any distance, any time, and anywhere.  Technology and business methods are the enabling factors making this possible.

Today, it is clear that to compete for the future, we need to work smarter as we can't work harder and we can't work more hours in the already hectic schedules we have. 

This site provides a beginning tool kit of ideas, methods, and technologies for the journey to the fifth generation work space.

Some ideas to explore.



  A brief discussion on research into virtual teams is provided here and detailed research methods are provided in chapter 3 under Articles .

Research is on on-going activity. If you would like to contribute to this research project, please click on survey.

Periodically, survey outcomes will be published on this Website.



  July 1998 - I presented a paper at The World Future Society in Chicago on virtual teams. The slides are provided under Articles.

October 1999 - I presented a paper on virtual teams at the International Leadership Association (ILA).

May 2000 - I  presented an updated paper on virtual teams with new research at the Center for the Study of Work Teams Symposium 2000.

November 2002 -- I presented at the International Leadership Association (ILA) conference in Seattle.  This presentation included new research based on recently completed surveys and discussions with new virtual teams.

April 2006 -- I presented a paper on strategic planning at the Product Management Educational Conference.

November 2006 -- I presented papers on strategic planning and technology road mapping. at the Product Management Educational Conference in Boston.

Consulting / Discussion

  I am actively engaged with discussions on virtual environments with students, faculty, and business people world-wide and have consulted at various times with interested parties.  Interest in virtual environments seem to be increasing for various reasons including distributed project work, limited time to collocate, costs of travel, and various other related reasons.  It turns out that working in virtual environments is becoming easier all the time -- especially for those work activities that are information based.

I also consult / discuss / present on strategic planning and technology road mapping.  Certainly there has been increasing interest on technology road mapping considering the variety of discussions on this subject with people across the country.  It seems there are no real standards here, but a variety of ways to look at the subject.  Dozens of technology road maps exist, but little in the way of a standard process, although Sandia Laboratories has published some documents outlining their view of this process.




  Click feedback to offer comments, suggestions, or ask a question or simply email me at

About Me

  I worked at IBM, AT&T, and Boeing in various information technology positions before joining the University of Phoenix as the Campus College Chair for Information Systems & Technology and subsequently appointed to the Campus College Chair for Graduate Business and Management at the University of Phoenix in Seattle.  I currently teach graduate business and technology classes in both classroom and online modalities.  In addition, I teach doctoral classes in change management, leadership, and technology management.

Education includes a MBA, a Master in Software Engineering, and an Ed.D.  My doctoral dissertation was on Leadership in Virtual Teams at Seattle University.

I've presented papers on virtual teams at the World Future Society, the International Leadership Association, and the Center for the Study of Work Teams and strategic planning and technology road mapping at the Product Management Education Conference.

Current work in virtual organizations includes teaching online courses in business and technology, collaborating with faculty on curriculum and other classroom related issues, and serving on doctoral committees with distributed participants.

Current work in strategic planning and technology road mapping includes teaching and the development of a set of "open source" documents for guiding organizational planning.

Date last revised:
November 25, 2006
David Gould, Ed.D.
1999-2006 All Rights Reserved