The fundamental changes associated with digitalization demand businesses and public enterprises to balance exploitative and explorative capabilities in their internal IT function. One approach to balance these paradoxical demands is the adoption of twofold organizational structures often referred to as bimodal IT. While the IS literature has made recent advances in the description and analysis of bimodal organization structures, we still lack a deeper understanding of the inner workings within bimodal IT organizations and the potential tensions between traditional and agile IT. To address this research gap, we adopt IT governance mechanisms as an analytical framework to study two bimodal IT organization cases, one at a law enforcement agency and the other at an automotive company. We analyze data collected through fourteen semi-structured interviews using grounded theory techniques. We first identify challenges associated with the implementation of and the coordination within organization’s bimodal IT organizations. We then identify the structural, procedural, and relational governance mechanisms used within these organizations and elucidate how they relate to the categories of challenges. Finally, we identify and describe five novel governance paradoxes of bimodal IT organizations that emerged as core concepts from this research. Theoretical contributions and practical implications are discussed.
Jöhnk, Jan; Oesterle, Severin; Winkler, Till J.; Nørbjerg, Jacob; and Urbach, Nils, (2019). "JUGGLING THE PARADOXES – GOVERNANCE MECHANISMS IN BIMODAL IT ORGANIZATIONS". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8-14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research Papers.