Abstract - The Information Society 14(2)

The Virtual Society: Forces and Issues

Carol Agres, Magid Igbaria, and Dana Edberg

This paper presents a conceptual research framework for investigating virtual societies. As this subject area is relatively new to the research world, this paper presents a framework for studying virtual societies. To date, much of the relevant research has been in the area of telecommuting or teleworking. But, the changes to peoples' lives that may be a result of the movement to virtual societies encompass far more than alterations to the way we perform work in the future. The framework portrays the driving forces and the issues related to the study of this ensuing societal form. A review of the driving forces and issues of the virtual society stimulated the development of the research framework. It identifies technology as the enabler that is paving the way for society to be transformed to virtual communities, but does not dwell solely on the technology. Our endeavors focus on identifying the critical forces and issues within a global context in order to provide a foundation for future research.

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