Virtual Enterprise (VE) is an organizational collaboration concept which provides a competitive edge in the globalized business environment. The life cycle of a VE consists of four stages i.e. opportunity identification (Pre-Creation), partner selection (Creation), operation and dissolution. The success of VEs depends upon the efficient execution of their VE-lifecycles along with knowledge enhancement for the partner enterprises to facilitate the future formation of efficient VEs. This research aims to study the different issues which occur in the VE lifecycle and provides a platform for the formation of high performance enterprises and VEs.
In the pre-creation stage, enterprises look for suitable partners to create their VE and to exploit a market opportunity. This phase requires explicit and implicit information extraction from enterprise data bases (ECOS-ontology) for the identification of suitable partners. A description logic (DL) based query system is developed to extract explicit and implicit information and to identify potential partners for the creation of the VE.
In the creation phase, the identified partners are analysed using different risks paradigms and a cooperative game theoretic approach is used to develop a revenue sharing mechanism based on enterprises inputs and risk minimization for optimal partner selection.
In the operation phases, interoperability remains a key issue for seamless transfer of knowledge information and data. DL-based ontology mapping is applied in this research to provide interoperability in the VE between enterprises with different domains of expertise.
In the dissolution stage, knowledge acquired in the VE lifecycle needs to be disseminated among the enterprises to enhance their competitiveness. A DL-based ontology merging approach is provided to accommodate new knowledge with existing data bases with logical consistency.
Finally, the proposed methodologies are validated using the case study. The results obtained in the case study illustrate the applicability and effectiveness of proposed methodologies in each stage of the VE life cycle.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.