Katharina Hoffmann

Lunchtime Seminar - Professor Joan Rodón Mòdol

The co-functioning of architecture and governance in digital infrastructures
Tuesday, 8. November 2016 - 12:00 to 13:00, Leo 18


Research on the evolutionary dynamics of mobile ecosystems, web browser ecosystems, social networking systems, enterprise software ecosystems, and national eHealth infrastructures is increasingly gaining the attention of the literature on information systems. Unlike administrative enterprise systems and individual applications, these large-scale infrastructures exhibit unbounded (or open-ended) evolution. That is, the boundaries of those infrastructures, in terms of the diversity of socio-technical components that can connect to them and their domains of use, are unrestrained. Despite the empirical evidences about the unbounded nature of these infrastructures, this research problem remains under-theorized to date. Existing studies have tried to capture this evolving nature through tensions (e.g., control-autonomy, change-stability) and suggested that these tensions are enabled and constrained by two relevant structural elements of infrastructures: the architecture and governance regime. We aim to study the evolutionary dynamics of digital infrastructures and the relation between those dynamics and the configuration of architecture and governance. In order to study this research problem, this paper draws insights from assemblage theory as systematized and presented by Manuel DeLanda. We apply those insights to a longitudinal, in-depth qualitative case study of a electronic prescription infrastructure. We characterize the evolution of the infrastructure as: 1) constantly going through cycles processes of destabilization and re-stabilization occurring within and across scales; and 2) involving different kinds of destabilization processes. Moreover, we show how those (de)stabilization processes were conditioned by the configuration of architecture and governance, which in turn, shifted over time actualizing different evolutionary trajectories for the system.



Joan Rodon is an Associate Professor at the Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences, ESADE, Universitat Ramón Llull, and the associate dean of the Bachelor of Business Administration in ESADE. His research interests are the design, governance and evolution of digital infrastructures with emphasis on the interactions between the technological and the social. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of the Association for Information systems, European Journal of Information Systems, Communications of the ACM, Journal of Information Technology, Information Systems Journal, Decision Support Systems, Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, and International Journal of Production Economics.