14. Responsible Use of AI in Digital Organizations

June 10, 2022 lectured by Dr. Atilla Aydın and written by Dr. Merve Ayyüce KIZRAK

About Dr. Atilla Aydın

In our lecture this week, we welcomed the Unit Manager of Digital Transformation Coordination Department at Digital Transformation Office, Dr. Atilla Aydın. In this course, we add the concepts of organization and public on top of the concepts we have learned from the very beginning. Artificial intelligence creates new job opportunities in many different sectors and it is estimated that artificial intelligence technologies will bring about 16 trillion dollars of value per year.* Thus, we aim to have a body for all discussions. We will discuss how to use data and technology for the public good and how public organizations and institutions can be designed in this way.

If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near — Jack Welch

What is an Organization?

First, it is necessary to examine how the concept of “organization” is defined. There are different types of organizations. In its most general form, an organization — like a company, an institution, or an association — is a tool people use to coordinate their actions to achieve something they desire or value. The word is derived from the Greek word organon, which means tool or instrument, musical instrument, and organ.

Some types of organizations:

  • a business/trading organization

  • a consumer/marketing/research organization

  • a non-profit/charitable/voluntary organization

  • a national/international/local organizations

Types of Organization Structures

  • An informal organization expresses the personal objectives and goals of the individual membership.

  • A formal organization is respected for behaving impersonally in regard to relationships with clients or with its members.

Organization Design Challenges

Vertical differentiation: The way an organization designs its hierarchy of authority and creates reporting relationships to link organizational roles and subunits.

Horizontal differentiation: The way an organization groups organizational tasks into roles and roles into subunits (functions and divisions).

Integration: The process of coordinating various tasks, functions, and divisions so that they work together and not at cross purposes.

A centralized: Organizational setup in which the authority to make important decisions is retained by managers at the top of the hierarchy.

Decentralized: An organizational setup in which the authority to make important decisions about organizational resources and to initiate new projects is delegated to managers at all levels in the hierarchy.

Standardization: Conformity to specific models or examples — defined by sets of rules and norms — that are considered proper in a given situation.

Mutual adjustment: The compromise that emerges when decision-making and coordination are evolutionary processes and people use their judgment rather than standardized rules to address a problem.

The balance scheme given in the figure refers to the balance between how the activities of the organization will be correlated and coordinated in the first place. Centralized and Decentralized refers to who will make the decisions. The third balance approach is applied to decide which types of mechanisms are most appropriate to control certain employee tasks and roles.

Generally, the task of managers is concerned with making balanced choices between these approaches.

Organizational role: a set of role-related behaviors required by a person's position in an organization.

Functions: a subunit of a group of people who work together, have similar skills, or use the same type of knowledge, tools, or techniques to do their jobs.

Divisions: a set of functions or subunits that share the responsibility for producing a particular good or service.

The number of different functions and divisions an organization has is a measure of the organization's complexity, and degree of differentiation. Differentiation by functions and divisions increases an organization's control over its activities and enables the organization to perform its duties more effectively.

Organizations cannot exist without a metaphysical body or memes. There is a cultural spiral outside the entire organization. Organizational culture has no “will” or desires. The meme is a dynamic, mechanical, and colorful organism.

memes — small bits of cultural information, including slogans, stories, fables, songs, jokes, beliefs, concepts, and worldviews — transmitted between people through interpersonal and social interactions.

Informatization of Everything

As Negroponte mentioned 20 years ago, computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living. The giant central computer, the so-called mainframe, has been almost universally replaced by personal computers.* We have seen computers move out of gigantic air-conditioned rooms into closets, then onto desktops, and now into our laps and pockets.

Unavoidable Growth of Interacted Data

Data is delivered to not only inform but also determine actions — sometimes autonomously.

The average rate per capita of data-driven interactions per day is expected to increase 20-fold in the next 10 years as our homes, workplaces, appliances, vehicles, wearables, and implants become data enabled.

Digital Data Age

We know the technical side of digital data. But we are not more than blind men on digital data economics and politics. Data is everywhere!

Technologies of Power

So when we come to today, the factors that make digital data stronger than before; Could it be that it is more decentralized, more democratic, and autocratic? Could crypto communication (deep web, ToR, VPN,..) become widespread? Or to be able to make algorithmic classification such as face recognition, and social media engineering?

Since cyberspace is a human design, it is easier to see, hear, observe, control, terminate, and reproduce.

Power of Knowlegde

Power: The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior od the others or the course of events. Power relations are the social glue and everywhere (government-citizen, doctor-patient, father-child, employer-employee, etc.)

Knowledge: The reason, acquired and proposed information, experience, awareness (biology, school, discipline, birth control, statistics, optimization, technologies and all modalities of conducting)

Power and knowledge are not seen as independent entities but are inextricably related

  • Power/knowledge as productive as well as constraining

  • Power/knowledge not only limits what we can do but also opens up new ways of acting and thinking about ourselves.

Organizations being codified like never before.

Data sovereignty: Organizations of all types and sizes today collect and store massive amounts of data of all types. You need to determine with yourself or your organization how, when and for what value data can be used along the value chain. We call this data sovereignty.

Organizational Change

Organizations are complex systems. They adapt to environmental changes and needs. More importantly, complex adaptive systems are always far from equilibrium. They are not static. Today, the biggest change is that organizations have to be data-driven.

Exponential Change Printing with Digital Technology

It is normal for the behavior and process change of citizens, ecosystems, services, and employees to be different from each other. However, the exponential change of digital technologies is forcing all structures to keep up with their own pace to varying degrees. The truth is to catch a reasonable band gap and ensure continuity in the change of all stakeholders.

The environments for digital services are also changing. We are discussing and experiencing the transition to Virtual-Real, Cyber Organic, Cyber-Physical environments today.

Organizational Culture and Ethics

The ultimate source of organizational culture is the people who make up the organization. This is where the difference in cultures arises. Organizations A, B, and C develop distinctly different cultures as they attract, select, and retain people with different values, personalities, and ethical values.

People may be interested in an organization whose values match theirs; Similarly, an organization selects people who share its values.

As a result, the people within the organization become more and more similar, the values of the organization become more and more parochial, and the culture more and more different from that of similar organizations.

Organizational culture is the study of attitudes, beliefs, and psychology within an organization. The relationship between organizational culture and ethics is that organizational culture guides employees in responding and responding when placed in ethical dilemmas.

Many cultural values derive from the personality and beliefs of the founder and senior management team and are, in a sense, beyond the organization's control. These values stem from who the founders and senior managers are. However, an organization can consciously and purposefully develop certain cultural values to control the behavior of its members. Ethical values fall into this category.

In the last week of our class next week, my dear students will share their case studies on the reliable use of artificial intelligence to design a better and more prosperous digital future.


  1. Organizational Theory, Design, and Change, Gareth R. Jones Texas A&M University, Pearson, 2013

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