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  1. a form of WORK ORGANIZATION in which tasks are subcontracted to people who work away from the office (at home for instance) but who are connected to office information systems via COMPUTER-based ELECTRONIC MAIL and similar communications links. Usually networked staff are former employees who have become SELF-EMPLOYED and are now paid on a fee basis. Networking can be advantageous to all parties: employers benefit from lower employment costs whilst networked staff gain more control over their working time.
  2. the establishment by a manager of contacts with other people whose knowledge and expertise might prove useful to the manager.
  3. the linking of a number of firms or business units within a firm in order to develop a supply chain for a product. This could involve, for example, business unit (A) supplying components to business unit (B) which assembles these components into a final product which is then marketed by business unit (C). See MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISE, JUST IN TIME (JIT) SYSTEM.
  4. the process of linking together a number of PERSONAL COMPUTERS in order to facilitate communication between them.


Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
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