Modern Data Governance Structures

Inter-Organizational Design of Data Governance

Increased competition and higher customer expectations force companies to become involved in complex inter-organizational network structures [1]. Furthermore, the digital transformation has blurred the organizational boundaries between companies by changing the cooperation between employees, which in turn forces inter-organizational networking [2]. Within such cooperation, an exchange of information and therefore of data is crucial, since the effects of the inter-organizational exchange of information shape the competition outside the network. In addition, the sharing and exchange of information and strategic alliances in general allow companies to realize additional gains and competitive advantages [3]. Both facts create the need for a collective understanding of data across organizations [4].

Research Gap

In general, previous data governance research mainly focused on modeling structures, the respective roles, as well as the tasks and accountabilities within a single company environment [5–7].

Some of the first studies deal with structural research on network data governance. Tiwana et al. present, for example, a framework for understanding platform-based ecosystems. However, their results provide only rather general governance-related insights and are too limited from an inter-organizational data governance perspective [8]. Nokkala et al. outline a literature-based framework for platform data governance that includes five domains: data quality, ownership and access, stewardship, platform data quality,  and the value of data use [9]. Although these authors’ research can be employed as a template for further research, their results are also rather general. In none of the mentioned work is a relationship to previous intra-organizational research discernible. This implies that there are two parallel, independent research streams. Our research is aimed at investigating various contributions to the unexplored field of structural and inter-organizational data governance to close the research gap.

We observe that there are still significant gaps regarding the interrelationships between network governance, data governance, and organizational design that this research project would like to close . The theory of organization will be repeatedly examined and critically questioned within the proposal’s framework. In addition, the plan is to apply the research results in practice, specifically in the context of smart city initiatives, or in similar municipal corporation environments.


2020 - ongoing


1.   Alter, C., Hage, J.: Organizations working together. Sage Publ, Newbury Park, Calif. (1993)

2.   Ilvonen, I., Thalmann, S., Manhart, M., Sillaber, C.: Reconciling digital transformation and knowledge protection: a research agenda. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 16, 235–244 (2018)

3.   Seidmann, A., Sundararajan, A.: Sharing Logistics Information Across Organizations: Technology, Competition and Contracting. In: Kemerer, C.F. (ed.) Information Technology and Industrial Competitiveness: How IT Shapes Competition, pp. 107–136. Springer US, Boston, MA (1998)

4.   Johannessen, T.V., Fuglseth, A.M. (eds.): Challenges of self-service business intelligence (2016)

5.   Weber, K., Otto, B., Oesterle, H.: One Size Does Not Fit All---A Contingency Approach to Data Governance. ACM Journal of Data and Information Quality 1, Article 4 (2009)

6.   Khatri, V., Brown, C.V.: Designing Data Governance. Commun. ACM 53, 148–152 (2010)

7.   Otto, B., Weber, K.: Data Governance. In:, pp. 269–286 (2018)

8.   Tiwana, A., Konsynski, B., Bush, A.: Research Commentary —Platform Evolution: Coevolution of Platform Architecture, Governance, and Environmental Dynamics. Information Systems Research 21, 675–687 (2010)

9.   Nokkala, T., Salmela, H., Toivonen, J.: Data Governance in Digital Platforms. In: In AMCIS 2019 Proceedings, pp. 1–10