Managing Digital Technologies Use in Organizations: a Qualitative Approach Through Organizational Control and ICT Codes of Ethics

Etienne Thenoz


The openness and connectivity of Internet-based digital technologies provide an unprecedented computational power. Nevertheless, a greater amount and variety of risks and tensions stem from their use, hence calling for adjustments in organizations’ digital technologies use policies, in particular to manage the use of social web, cloud computing and mobile computing. Through a qualitative analysis of interviews with CIOs, ICT codes of ethics, court decisions and the French Data Protection Authority’s deliberations, we examine how results, behavior, or socialization-based control modes are more or less suited to managing Internet-based digital technologies uses and their particularities. In particular, we analyze the capacity of these control modes to reconcile control and autonomy, stability and flexibility, organizational practices and an emerging digital culture. Our results suggest that social controls are more appropriate for managing Internet-based digital technologies uses and highlight the potential counterproductive effects of behavioral controls. For practitioners, we therefore propose prioritizing the use of decentralized social controls as well as a strong involvement of users in the development of their digital skills and in the design of their practices.


Use management ; ICT codes of ethics ; digital technologies ; organizational control ; digital culture

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