Shadow IT, Risk, and Shifting Power Relations in Organizations

Daniel Fürstenau, Matthias Sandner, Hannes Rothe, Dimitrios Anapliotis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We draw on notions of power and the social construction of risk to understand the persistence of shadow IT within organizations. From a single case study in a mid-sized savings bank we derive two feedback cycles that concern shifting power relations between business units and central IT associated with shadow IT. A distant business-IT relationship, a lack of IT business knowledge and changing business needs can create repeated cost and time pressures that make business units draw on shadow IT. The perception of risk can trigger an opposing power shift back through the decommissioning and recentralization of shadow IT. However, empirical findings suggest that the weakening tendency of formal programs may not be sufficient to stop the shadow IT cycle spinning if they fail to address the underlying causes for the shadow IT emergence. These findings highlight long-term dynamics associated with shadow IT and pose "risk" as a power-shifting construct.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAMCIS 2016 Proceedings
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2016
Article number1325
ISBN (Electronic)9780996683128
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event22nd Americas Conference on Information Systems. AMCIS 2016: Surfing the IT Innovation Wave - San Diego, United States
Duration: 11 Aug 201614 Aug 2016
Conference number: 22


Conference22nd Americas Conference on Information Systems. AMCIS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • IT governance
  • Power relations
  • Risk
  • Shadow IT

Cite this