Innovative ambiguities: NGOs’ use of interactive technology in Eastern Europe
- Cite this article as:
- Bach, J. & Stark, D. St Comp Int Dev (2002) 37: 3. doi:10.1007/BF02686259
- 209 Downloads
This article examines the co-evolution of interactive technology and non-governmental organizations in Eastern Europe. It addresses, on the one side, the emergence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as actors who exhibit new organizational topographies and, on the other side, the emergence of the Internet and related interactive technologies that not only provide a new medium of representation in a virtual public sphere but also make possible fundamental changes in the character of organization. We explore how organizations of civil society can be a source of organizational and technological innovation necessary for their societies’ ongoing adaptability in a rapidly changing global economy. As such, NGOs can use new technologies within and beyond their existing roles as safety nets (to mitigate the new social problems of emerging market economies) and as safety valves (to give voice to social groups underrepresented in the newly competitive polities) to function as social entrepreneurs exploring new organizational forms as ongoing sources of innovation.