The Dynamic of ICT and Smart Power: Implications for Managerial Practice




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Book chapter

Peer reviewed



This chapter examines the concept of smart power and its interaction with innovations in information and communications technology (ICT) and management practice in contemporary organizational settings. Smart power is a composite of hard power (involving, for example, force, discipline, and direction) and soft power (including, by way of illustration, influencing, persuading and relationship building). Historically and conventionally, managerial practice has been cast having a propensity towards hard power yet in recent decades emergent approaches have witnessed the rise and increasing use of soft power. Importantly, the confluence of ‘hard’ and soft’ power produces ‘smart power’ which, interconnected with radical evolutions in ICT, produces a potentially potent amalgam and set of circumstances for organizations and managers. The chapter considers the above phenomena through an examination of three focal ICT areas: social media, data analytics, and mobile computing each of which challenges longstanding and conventional organizational operating modes and mindsets. Methodologically, the chapter collates, analyses and employs a range of sources including interviews, case studies and industry reports. The resultant analysis and discussion identify ways in which smart power interacts with ICT and the implications of this for management and organizations. In particular, it identifies shifts in established patterns of power, control and authority, as organizations seek to address their needs using these technologies. Finally, the chapter indicates potential negative and unintended effects of ICT in order to provide a deeper understanding of ICT and smart power.



ICT, hard power, soft power, social media, data analytics, mobile computing


Kline, H. and Stokes, P. (2017) The Dynamic of ICT and Smart Power: Implications for Managerial Practice. In: Muhlbauer, V. and Harry, W. (eds). Redefining Management: Smart Power Perspectives, Germany, Springer, pp.31-46.


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)