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The Labyrinths of InformationChallenging the Wisdom of Systems$
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Claudio Ciborra

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275267

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275267.001.0001

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(p.119) 7 Shih
The Labyrinths of Information

Claudio Ciborra

Oxford University Press

Using the case of Olivetti, this chapter puts forward a model of platform: a chameleon-like organization conceived as a laboratory for rapid restructuring. The platform is far from being a new, distinct organizational structure, where one can recognize a fresh configuration of authority and communication lines. Rather, it is a virtual and collective cognitive scheme, expressed through actions of recombination that governs, and is supported by, the practices of a community: a pool of human resources, described in the Olivetti case as the old boys' network at the top management level. The platform achieves flexibility by putting together structures that have a high potential for action in response to chaotic events (shih), rather than maximizing efficiency around stable tasks and technologies.

Keywords:   platform, rapid restructuring, Olivetti, technology strategy

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