Organizational Urbanism: A New Proposal for Information Systems Management

Organizational Urbanism: A New Proposal for Information Systems Management

Pedro Fernandes da Anunciação (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal), Francisco Madeira Esteves (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal) and Fernando Miguel Gonçalves (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6225-2.ch014
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The challenges of the information society require frequent strategic reorientations that, in the context of the relational economy, emphasize the importance of IS/ICT in adapting to change, competitiveness, and economic sustainability. The easy adoption of the new technologies by the people, the paradigm of the availability of the new distribution channels, the reduction of the time-to-market, among other examples, have demanded to the responsible ones of the organizations and the SI dynamic of management, and adequate framework of the stated challenges. The preparation and management of the associated changes presuppose a coordinated and coherent combination of four vital axes for organizational success: business performance, information management, systems architecture and information technologies, and relational positioning. In this area, the development of an urban view of the value chain and its participants and the adoption of a logistics perspective on the momentum appear to be the primary adjustment in the support of organizational models to business.
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The contemporary world is a vast interactive system in which economic organizations seek permanently a balance between the economic, technological and social forces. This balance, which is difficult to achieve, is a permanent challenge for the organization`s management. Technological dimensions, silently and seemingly, harmlessly infiltrate the structures and modus operandi of organizations, generating new management challenges associated with innovation, dynamism, interaction, integration and volatility of activities and agents.

It is a permanent context of turbulence where the continuity and sustainability of organizations are assessed by the weakness of existing certainties regarding the stable maintenance of conditions or market factors. Economic uncertainties put pressure on management to seek responses to change requirements, leading to the search for new models and/or more appropriate instruments or adjustment of existing models. Adjustments are the easiest and immediate solution to combat market volatility, minimizing the costs of change. However, these adjustments often increase the complexity of organizations, especially as their positioning involves greater participation in the economic networks. This participation requires the integration of activities, the sharing of strategies and resources, the adequacy of information systems and technologies and, above all, the enhancement of commitments.

The current economic system requires collaboration and cooperation between various stakeholders and emphasizes the importance of creating common platforms for the integration of different systems and for the joint development of approaches to the market (functional, informational and technological) (Anunciação, 2015; Anunciação & Zorrinho, 2006; Anunciação, 2004). Some of the factors that reflect this new paradigm are evidenced by the current economic drivers, which are associated with different levels of management and organizational difficulties, namely: business globalization, digital services anywhere and anytime, mobile and distributed workforce, new computational tools, outsourcing activities, e-Commerce, automation of operations, strategic use of ICT to obtain competitive advantages, extension of organizations as an organizational and operational model, among others (Benbasat & DeSanctis, 2000).

These key drivers reflect new standards for how organizations operate and, consequently, new levels of efficiency and effectiveness. Organizational adaptation does not seem easy. The opportunities offered by innovation and information systems and technologies have changed the traditional logic of business, allowing organizations to experience a wide range of strategic alternatives and organizational forms (Venkatraman & Henderson, 1998). Organizations, as they integrate economic chains that grow and multiply, constitute links between them, increasing their complexity. In these chains, technological integrations play an important role, insofar as it they enable an economic, commercial and informational approach between the different agents. The participation of companies in collaborative networks influences, conditions and reshapes the respective assets and flows.

The dynamics of the flows, the different structures and forms of organization originate and influence asymmetric competitive behaviors in the networks in which they participate (Gnyawali & Madhavan, 2001). This asymmetry requires organizational and structural flexibility and high standards of competence in the management of the various change projects with a view to facilitate the adaptation to the market, which is required quickly and safely.

The competitiveness of any company is always the result of the ability to build and operate the right mix of resources. A competitive advantage will only be sustainable when, through the continuous development of new capacities, skills and organizational resources, is possible to generate market value by changing the respective conditions (Empson, 2000). In this context, it is necessary that, in the current relational context, organizations seek to adjust management models in order to optimize commercial responses to market needs. Whatever the conceived model, it must anticipate an integration of organizational resources and collective capacities in close articulation with market needs. It is important to keep in mind that these needs are increasingly global, that businesses and consumers communicate and transact products and services in high speed networks, anytime, anywhere. This scenario is a challenge for any manager.

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