The Impact of IT over Five Decades: Towards the Ambient Organization

Niels Bjørn-Andersen, Benoit Raymond

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This contribution to the Ken D. Eason special issue is an illustration of the value of socio-technical analysis applied at an organizational level. We provide a brief historical overview of socio-technical IS research and review studies investigating the impact of IT on organizational structures in the last five decades, identifying a dominating (new) research theme in each decade. A key overall impact of IT in all decades has been a dramatic decrease in transaction costs making it increasingly easier for organizations to source from external providers. A five level taxonomy of sourcing arrangement is developed together with a framework of organizational activities, and a number of significant cases are offered of how organizations are sourcing practically all types of business processes, including innovation. We argue that future IT will further accelerate the movement towards more sourcing, eventually leading to a new type of organization that we call the Ambient organization.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Ergonomics
    Issue number2 / Part A
    Pages (from-to)188–197
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Cite this