Chapter 8

Governance of the Internet of Things 1

8.1. Introduction

8.1.1. Notion of governance

The forthcoming advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) raises questions about “governance”. For about 10 years, governance topics have been discussed and debated in relation to many market segments and different organizations/enterprises. It is therefore not surprising that the “governance wave” is also reaching scholarly discourses on the IoT.

“Governance” can be traced back to the Greek term “kybernetes”, usually translated into English as “steersman”, and the Latin word “gubernator” leading to the English notion of “governor”. Consequently, governance addresses aspects of steering or governing behavior.

Different disciplines have addressed governance issues which, in a nutshell, can be summarized as the discussion on the appropriate allocation of duties and responsibilities. It includes the proper structuring of the “organs” concerned, thereby balancing performance-based strategic management and financial/economic control [for a sociological point of view see LAN 04; a political science approach is given by BEN 04]. Or, in other words:

“Governance, at whatever level of social organization it may take place, refers to conducting the public’s business — to the constellation of authoritative rules, institutions and practices by means of which any collectivity manages its affairs.” [RUG 04]

8.1.2. Aspects of governance

As far as organizations are concerned, light must be shed on the ...

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