Armin Stein

Digital Risk Society

Tuesday, 8. June 2021 - 12:00 to 13:00, Zoom

Title: Digital Risk Society

Speaker: Dr. Ojelanki Ngwenyama, Director, Institute for Innovation and Technology Management

Abstract: The rise of the digital society is accompanied by incalculable social risks, but very little IS research has examined the implications of the new digital society. Drawing on concepts from Beck’s critical theory of the risk society and critical discourse analysis, this study examines the public discourse on risk events during the launch of NemID, a personal digital identifier for Danish citizens. This research illustrates our difficulties and challenges in managing some of the fundamental social risks from societal digitalisation. Limited institutional capabilities for digital technologies force public officials to depend on private companies motived by profit instead of the public interest. Beliefs in digital technology as the primary determinant of social and economic progress also present many public management dilemmas. When digital risk events occur and citizens’ fears are stoked by news media and public discourse, public officials seem to have no other strategy for managing the escalating fears than systematically distorted communication. The continued rise of the digital risk society demands that IS research respond to the challenge of generating knowledge for its public management.

Short Bio: Ojelanki Ngwenyama is currently Professor of Global Management and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Technology Management, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada; Visiting Research Professor, Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town; Guest Professor in the MI-lab: Man and Information Technology Laboratory, Halmstad University, Sweden; and Docent in Information Systems University of Jyväskylä, Finland. In 2012 he was VELUX Visiting Professor of Information Technology Management, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; and in 2011 he was Andrew Mellon Foundation Mentorship Professor in Information Systems, UCT. Ojelanki has been a member of the faculties of Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto; Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University; Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University; and Aarhus Business School, University of Aarhus, Denmark. In 2009 he received D.Phil (Honoris Causa) from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Pretoria for International Contributions to Research Methods in Information Systems.

Based on Ojelanki Ngwenyama, Helle Zinner Henriksen & Daniel Hardt (2021) PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES IN THE DIGITAL RISK SOCIETY: A Critical Analysis of the Public Debate on Implementation of the Danish NemID, European Journal of Information Systems, DOI: 10.1080/0960085X.2021.1907234