Cooperation and Coordination in an International Intervention: The Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Kosovo

Anne Holohan

Abstract


In international interventions that encompass peacekeeping, democratic transition, and institution building, one organization cannot do it all. In Kosovo several organizations—the United Nations (UN), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the militaries (KFOR), and an international police force—formed a temporary network organization, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), in which they worked together cooperatively at every level to pursue the goals of the mission. This research, based on fieldwork in Kosovo with all the organizations in UNMIK, investigates how well the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) refiected the organizational structure and design of the mission. What does this experience tell us about the use of ICTs in an interorganizational setting? What does it tell us about information transfer and knowledge sharing in a temporary network organization that comprises organizations of diverse structure and culture? The information and communication infrastructure of UNMIK is examined to discover how well it met the organizational requirements of both the participating hierarchies in the mission and the emerging network organization. The question in Kosovo was whether the introduction and use of new technologies helped the organizations move from a hierarchical structure and culture to a more collaborative one.

Keywords


International Interventions; UN; Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); Interorganizational Communication

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