The research draws on governmentality framework, as depicted by Foucault (1991) and developed by Rose and Miller (1992). This framework represents a referent point for the exploration of how calculative technologies (Big Data) are implicated in the governance of organizations, considering that these devices confer power to the “experts” that manage the information created by mean of these technologies. The paper also benefits from the concept of “mediating instruments” (Miller and O’Leary, 2007): Big Data technologies can be interpreted as an instrument that mediates the conflicting interests of different corporate departments. The research is based on a case study analysis, developed through semi-structured interviews to managers and workers engaged in the management of Big Data technologies and in the performance of corporate strategy. The company on which the case study is developed is an Italian listed multi-utility company that uses Big Data technologies in the process of monitoring customer behaviour and providing customized services. The analysis shows that the introduction of Dig Data technologies contributes to the creation of “centres of calculations” that modify how corporate departments interact in process of performing corporate strategy. The analysis also demonstrates that the introduction of Big Data technologies reshapes the power exerted by different functions in the implementation of corporate strategy: departments engaged in the calculation and judgement of information made available by Big Data technologies expand their influence on the processes of customer relationship management. The paper contributes to accounting literature on Big Data by highlighting how accounting and other “technical” departments (e.g. IT) are implicated in the performance of corporate strategy by participating to the creation and government of Big Data information.

Big data and the construction of calculative centres: how big data reshapes organizational power related to information management

R. Stacchezzini;A. Zardini
2015

Abstract

The research draws on governmentality framework, as depicted by Foucault (1991) and developed by Rose and Miller (1992). This framework represents a referent point for the exploration of how calculative technologies (Big Data) are implicated in the governance of organizations, considering that these devices confer power to the “experts” that manage the information created by mean of these technologies. The paper also benefits from the concept of “mediating instruments” (Miller and O’Leary, 2007): Big Data technologies can be interpreted as an instrument that mediates the conflicting interests of different corporate departments. The research is based on a case study analysis, developed through semi-structured interviews to managers and workers engaged in the management of Big Data technologies and in the performance of corporate strategy. The company on which the case study is developed is an Italian listed multi-utility company that uses Big Data technologies in the process of monitoring customer behaviour and providing customized services. The analysis shows that the introduction of Dig Data technologies contributes to the creation of “centres of calculations” that modify how corporate departments interact in process of performing corporate strategy. The analysis also demonstrates that the introduction of Big Data technologies reshapes the power exerted by different functions in the implementation of corporate strategy: departments engaged in the calculation and judgement of information made available by Big Data technologies expand their influence on the processes of customer relationship management. The paper contributes to accounting literature on Big Data by highlighting how accounting and other “technical” departments (e.g. IT) are implicated in the performance of corporate strategy by participating to the creation and government of Big Data information.
978-9963-711-37-6
centre of calculations
big data
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/974711
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