A Dynamic Model of Embeddedness in Digital Infrastructures

Daniel Fürstenau, Abayomi Baiyere, Natalia Kliewer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Digital infrastructures result from individual yet interdependent systems evolving in relation to each other. This paper identifies three processes by which individual systems become embedded into digital infrastructures. The first is a parallel process, whereby systems become embedded independently of each other. The second is a competitive process, whereby systems compete for resources and attention and one system usually thrives while the other system loses importance. The third is a spanning process characterizing a situation of boundary-spanning between distinct parts of a digital infrastructure. The three processes, synthesized into a dynamic model of digital infrastructure embeddedness, offer clarity to the question how digital infrastructures evolve. They also provide insight into the emergence of three forms of digital infrastructures: silofied, regenerated, and unified. Reflecting an interconnection view, our research further facilitates an understanding of infrastructure inertia and its associated consequence. Criticality traps should be avoided by considering the right timing for system replacement in the light of growing embeddedness over time. Digital infrastructures are a result of individual yet interdependent systems evolving in relation to each other. In this paper, we identify three processes by which individual systems become embedded into digital infrastructures. First, there are parallel processes, in which systems become embedded independently of each other. Second, there are competitive processes, in which the embeddedness of one system increases at the expense of another. Finally, there are spanning processes, in which bridges are built between different embedded systems. The three processes, synthesized into a dynamic model of digital infrastructure embeddedness, offer much-needed conceptual clarity to the area of digital infrastructure evolution. They also provide insight into the emergence of three forms of digital infrastructures: silofied, regenerated, and unified. Reflecting an interconnection view, our research further facilitates an understanding of infrastructure inertia and its associated consequence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Systems Research
Volume30
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1319-1342
Number of pages24
ISSN1047-7047
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Digital infrastructures
  • Embeddedness
  • Inertia
  • Mixed methods
  • Process models

Cite this

Fürstenau, Daniel ; Baiyere, Abayomi ; Kliewer, Natalia. / A Dynamic Model of Embeddedness in Digital Infrastructures. In: Information Systems Research. 2019 ; Vol. 30, No. 4. pp. 1319-1342.
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A Dynamic Model of Embeddedness in Digital Infrastructures. / Fürstenau, Daniel; Baiyere, Abayomi; Kliewer, Natalia.

In: Information Systems Research, Vol. 30, No. 4, 12.2019, p. 1319-1342.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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