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Explorations in Information SpaceKnowledge, Actors, and Firms$
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Max H. Boisot, Ian C. MacMillan, and Kyeong Seok Han

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250875.001.0001

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Moving to the Edge of Chaos: Bureaucracy, IT, and the Challenge of Complexity

Moving to the Edge of Chaos: Bureaucracy, IT, and the Challenge of Complexity

Chapter:
(p.147) 5 Moving to the Edge of Chaos: Bureaucracy, IT, and the Challenge of Complexity
Source:
Explorations in Information Space
Author(s):

Max H. Boisot (Contributor Webpage)

Ian C. MacMillan (Contributor Webpage)

Kyeong Seok Han

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250875.003.0006

Bureaucracies in the Weberian mould, whether of the state or corporate type, are rational-legal structures organized to deliver order, stability, and predictability. Early developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) appeared set to deliver such an outcome. Yet the new economy turns out to be more ‘distributed’ than had originally been expected. What is the nature of the challenge that this poses for bureaucracies? To address this question, this chapter first presents a conceptual framework, the Information-Space or I-Space, which allows for an exploration of the relationship between how knowledge is structured and how it flows within and between populations of agents. This chapter then examines what cultural and institutional challenges the new ICTs pose for both state and corporate bureaucracies, confronted as they are with the complexities of an increasingly distributed social order.

Keywords:   Weber, ICTs, new economy, knowledge

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