The Social Cost of Social Value Creation: An Exploratory Inquiry into the Ambivalent Nature of Complex Information Technology Intensive Firms

The Social Cost of Social Value Creation: An Exploratory Inquiry into the Ambivalent Nature of Complex Information Technology Intensive Firms

Jonatan Jelen (Parsons The New School for Design, USA) and Marko Kolakovic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-020-3.ch023

Abstract

Google, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Myspace, Craig’s List and their foreign equivalents, such as the Chinese QQ and Baidu, for example, are ostensibly complex, and – more troublesome - their attitudes are becoming increasingly contradictory, controversial, and conflicted: For one, Tom Malone’s decade-old predictions of a decentralized network of a multitude of small, cooperating firms did not materialize; to the contrary and counter to the spirit of the democratic nature of information and information technology, these e-giants are defining their own industries and defying regulation, submitting the participants in their respective markets to proprietary rules via three central tenets: regulatory capture, regulatory arbitrage, and regulatory opportunism. In the present critical chapter the authors explore these traits of the Complex Information Technology-Intensive firms and formulate elements of a framework for their ambiguous nature that may lead to social cost exceeding their initially glorified social value creation.

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