The illusion of accountability: Information management and organizational culture
Author(s)Silbey, Susan S.; Agrawal, Tanu
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How do laws and regulations govern the activities of large, decentralized, and often geographically dispersed organizations? Under conditions of loose coupling, how does the organization coordinate action and know what it is doing so that accountability, and conformity, to law are achieved? Rather than relying on interpersonal trust, direct observation, or bureaucratic review, this paper describes the collaborative creation of a database as part of a surveillance technology for managing environmental, health and safety hazards in university research laboratories. Based on two years of observation, we show how the desire for information and the fear of misuse of information together fails the basic informational surveillance mission.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Anthropology Program
Droit et Societe
Silbey, Susan S. and Tanu Agrawal. "The illusion of accountability: Information management and organizational culture." Droite et Societe (2011) 77.
Author's final manuscript