Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Virtual Feudalism in the Twenty-First Century

A new working paper by me and Abbe Mowshowitz. Title above and abstract below. Download at

Abstract:  Computer-based mediation and brokerage, coupled with the expanding role of information technology in a globalized economy, has political, social, managerial, and economic consequences which manifest themselves in the virtual organization. Virtual organization is founded on the separation of requirements from the ways in which requirements are met. One result of this separation is a weakening of personal, political, and business loyalties. Absent a sense of loyalty to persons or places, virtual organizations distance themselves—both geographically and psychologically—from the regions and countries in which they operate. This process is undermining the nation-state, which cannot continue indefinitely to control virtual organizations. A new feudal system is in the making, in which power and authority are vested in private hands but which is based on globally distributed resources rather than on possession of land. The evolution of this new political economy will determine how we do business in the future. This paper explores these issues by presenting three fictional scenarios each centered on a different person.

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