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Home > Daniele Navarra > Towards a new model of governance to manage new technologies in organizations - Part 5. Conclusion

Towards a new model of governance to manage new technologies in organizations - Part 5. Conclusion

by Redazione FGB [1], 29 December 2007

We argued that the risks and challenges of digitally interoperable enterprise architectures that define the environment of contemporary organisations cannot be understood solely by looking at the traditional distinction between hierarchies and markets, but on asynchronous and decentralised interactions over digital networks aided by ICT devices as both the sources and channels of knowledge and information. Associated with that is also a cultural change which requires every individual to make instant decisions and take responsibilities, which directly affects the costs of transacting within such arrangements and the gains that organisations can make.

Co-operation and trust based relationships become essential for the functioning of these new networking technologies and their governance arrangements. Unfortunately, this has not being paralleled by a similar evolution in the relationship between the political and technological domains and thus their governance is incoherent and unbalanced. These processes, however, are difficult to understand just by addressing static transaction costs, but need to incorporate also an understanding of the political costs associated with the enforcement of the standards and policies for the development of networks. These involve shared processes, joint-control and divergent incentive structures.

Therefore, enhancing the integration of information resources may not automatically increase control and reduce risk, but some concepts and heuristics from the governance model we suggest could aid in managing such risk. However, it will be essential to consider the following aspects: a) the networks of firms involved, and how these are organized globally and regionally; b) the distribution of corporate power and the mechanisms of hierarchy and authority within those networks; and c) the institutions (including government and non-government) agencies, that influence strategy in the particular locations absorbed into the chain; and d) the implications of all of these for technological upgrading, value adding and capturing, economic prosperity etc. for the various firms as well as the nations absorbed in these networks.

To be sure, the development of information infrastructures is the result of contingent, interwoven and dynamic relationships between actors that coordinate over the development and future growth of, for example, the standards to be used in such infrastructure. However, as we hope to investigate in the future, this means looking at environmental externalities and transactions which cannot always be accounted for or measured, but then become relevant for the research and study of networks as well as other emerging configurations across organisational boundaries. This implies that a multi-disciplinary effort towards a new programme of governance in relation to the research and study of Global ICT Programmes is needed to examine the ways in which such programmes are re-defining traditional forms of organisation and governance, which reaches beyond the legal or contractual boundary of organisations and how the risks and challenges associated with the transition towards Global ICT Programmes are understood differently across different countries and domains.

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