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This article studies the types of resource sharing made possible by various information technologies, and extrapolates into new types of resource sharing that can be implemented with new technologies, systems, and organizational architectures. Resource sharing can bean overarching design criterion for systems, organizations, and social institutions where the cost of information determines the extent of feasible sharing and the optimum design.We argue that optimum structures may need to be computed, designed and implemented explicitly, because they may not be achievable through evolutionary business and social processes. There is considerable evidence that evolutionary processes relying on incremental changes do not always lead to globally optimum structures, and explicit design may be necessary. This article details one approach to such explicit design based on resource sharing, related technologies, organizational architectures, and supporting transactions.
Date of Publication: Summer 2008