We are witnessing a proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support the socializing function in human communities. At the same time there has never been a greater need, and a greater opportunity, for socially-based and socially-oriented enterprise. Enterprises and technologies are rapidly co-evolving, driven by the ecosystem of globally integrated enterprises and enabled by such technologies as Web 2.0 and virtual worlds.

It is particularly timely at this moment in history to focus on the viewpoint that businesses and other enterprises are fundamentally human social systems. There has been recent emphasis on the importance of services and service economies as we move into an anticipated period of deepening integration of ICT into the fabric of global society. Human capabilities and inter-relationships actually constitute the primary source of value in a world of increasingly urgent problems and opportunities, yet the creation of value by human social systems is often ignored or downplayed.

Several theories of human social systems are used to articulate the dimensions of enterprising sociality. A specialized ICT architecture is presented to help understand the dimensions of sociable affordances. These views of both enterprise and technology are then brought together to explore the structural coupling that needs to occur between the organizational and technological domains. Evidence from literature and experience reveals the unexpected power of socializing technologies to enhance and catalyze new ways of pursuing life and work as we move deeper into the 21st Century.

Keywords: ICT, Web 2.0, virtual worlds, human social systems, enterprise, social technology, business architecture



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