The Virtual Oil Company: Capstone Of Integration

The idea of a "virtual company" is not new. For years now, business theorists have envisioned a future dominated by enlightened companies that would focus on their core competencies, form strategic alliances with suppliers and business partners, and attack complex markets as if they were all one organization. According to theory, members of a virtual entity would benefit from one another's strengths while eliminating inefficient overhead. Throughout the petroleum industry, I have heard many senior executives express the desire to create such a "virtual oil company." I have even participated in meetings with the goal of exploring the possibility. To my disappointment, however, I have ...

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