Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clay Shirky: Institutions vs. collaboration

Important concept

The classic answer to getting a group to do something was the institution (centralized organization based on power relations). Today, the costs of communication, which is fundamental for coordination, has fallen. It is now possible to put the coordination into the infrastructure and to reduce the need for planning.  

The institution asks for:
  • explicit goals 
  • management, 
  • enforcement of goals (carrots and sticks) 
  • structure (economic, legal, physical, etc) 
  • exclusion (cannot higher anyone) --> professional class 
Collaboration infrastructure: moving the problem to the people instead of moving the people to the problem, shedding institutional costs, adding flexibility. Decentralization, openness, inclusiveness. 
Tension between the institution as an enabler and institution as an obstacle. "Many of the relative advantages of hierarchy are now reduced."

It's all abut value! Open collaborative networks are mostly value-based organizations, and are increasingly replacing institutions (power-based organizations) on different arenas. 

By AllOfUs

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