Organizing Robotic Process Automation: Balancing Loose and Tight Coupling

AbstractRobotic Process Automation (RPA) is penetrating organizations at an accelerating rate. This trend is challenging the existing IT governance structures, because RPA usually is acquired and implemented by local business units, outside the control of the IT function. Consequently, how to organize and govern RPA initiatives is a topical issue. The recommendations from prior research are unclear, and there is a call for more research on this area. In this paper, we report from a study on RPA usage in three firms. In particular, we investigate the organizational consequences of having local business units manage the RPA initiatives. We make use of lightweight IT research as our analytical lens, contributing to research by unveiling the consequences and considerations of decentralized management of RPA.

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