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Organizations decentered: data objects, technology and knowledge

Alaimo, Cristina and Kallinikos, Jannis (2021) Organizations decentered: data objects, technology and knowledge. Organization Science. ISSN 1047-7039 (In Press)

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Abstract

Data are no longer simply a component of administrative and managerial work but a pervasive resource and medium through which organizations come to know and act upon the contingencies they confront. We theorize how the ongoing technological developments reinforce the traditional functions of data as instruments of management and control but also reframe and extend their role. By rendering data as technical entities, digital technologies transform the process of knowing and the knowledge functions data fulfil in socioeconomic life. These functions are most of the times mediated by putting together disperse and steadily updatable data in more stable entities we refer to as data objects. Users, customers, products, physical machines rendered as data objects become the technical and cognitive means through which organizational knowledge, patterns and practices develop. Such conditions loosen the dependence of data from domain knowledge, reorder the relative significance of internal versus external references in organizations, and contribute to a paradigmatic contemporary development that we identify with the decentering of organizations of which digital platforms are an important specimen.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://pubsonline.informs.org/journal/orsc
Additional Information: © 2021 INFORMS
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 09:15
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2021 07:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/112470

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