Managing Emerging Technologies for Socio-Economic Impact
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Managing Emerging Technologies for Socio-Economic Impact

Edited by Dimitris G. Assimakopoulos, Ilan Oshri and Krsto Pandza

The development of emerging technologies demands a rapidly expanding knowledge base and intensive collaboration across organizational, institutional and cultural borders. This book is the first of its kind to focus on the management of key emerging technologies and their social and economic impact in Europe. Split into four parts, across seventeen chapters, the scholars offer multiple levels of analysis concerning the management of emerging technologies across various sectors ranging from nanotechnology, renewable energy and cloud computing to synthetic biology and particle therapy for cancer.
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Chapter 4: Emergence, transactive memory systems and efficiency: a contingency approach

Diogo Cotta and Fabrizio Salvador


Organizing for emergent technologies poses significant conceptual and practical challenges. Conceptually, the processes that most essentially constitute characterizations of organization imply non-trivial degrees of predictability, control and replication; not exactly properties one would associate with entities that are not yet fully discernible. This inherent tension is entirely acknowledged by several brands of organizational research, from early contingency theorists recognizing the particularities of dealing with the unpredictable (Burns and Stalker, 1961; Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967; Galbraith, 1973), to more contemporary frameworks documenting the severe difficulties of exploring the potential while simultaneously exploiting the actual (March, 1991; Levinthal and March, 1991; Benner and Tushman, 2002). What we know about emerging technologies seems to be exactly at odds with what we know about effective organizing. Unsurprisingly, organizational practice has persistently struggled with the handling of the new, the unexpected, the uncertain; all facets that fundamentally typify emergent technologies.

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