Why can't the underworld manage high technology? - LEX BLOG
    Why can't the underworld manage high technology?
    15 January, 2024

    Galeev: Gangs excel in simple industries, struggle in complex sectors.

    Kamil Galeev presents a fascinating perspective. He observes that, similar to how certain gangs in Mexico control the avocado industry, criminal organizations worldwide tend to dominate sectors like drugs, fruit, minerals, and even entertainment. However, he poses an intriguing question: have we ever seen gangs controlling high-tech industries? Galeev explains that this absence is due to the relative simplicity of power structures within gang organizations.

    He suggests a trend in the relationship between gangs and various industries, where gangs prefer to venture into fields that are operationally simpler. For instance, if a gang were to enter the mechanical production sector, they would face two likely outcomes. One, they would be unable to adapt and ultimately fail, as the complexity of mechanical production exceeds their simple power structure's managerial capabilities. Alternatively, they would need to delegate authority to professionals, transforming from a gang into more of a business entity, with actual power swiftly shifting into the hands of knowledgeable individuals.

    Galeev interprets this phenomenon as stemming from the simplicity in the operation of gang power. He likens this to the simplicity of totalitarian politics compared to democratic systems, which partly explains his lack of interest in analyzing totalitarian politics. In his view, gangs gravitate towards simpler industries because power is more directly and effectively exercised in these areas.

    However, the situation becomes complicated when gangs attempt to infiltrate more complex industries. In such sectors, the dependence on knowledge and specialized skills becomes paramount. Galeev notes that this high dependency on knowledge poses a dilemma for gangs, as their simple power structures are ill-equipped to manage such complexity. Complex industries require professional management and technical expertise, areas where gangs typically lack proficiency.

    This also raises a point for reflection about the adaptability of different organizational forms in society. Gangs succeed in industries like drugs and fruits because these sectors are relatively straightforward and can be operated through more basic methods. However, when faced with complex domains like high-tech industries, the simplistic modus operandi of gangs clearly falls short. In contrast, formal businesses and organizations are more likely to thrive in complex industries due to their focus on specialization, innovation, and efficient management.

    Therefore, Galeev's insights not only offer an intriguing view into the activities of criminal organizations but also provoke deeper contemplation on organizational forms, power structures, and the management of complex industries. The evolution of society and the development of industries reveal different strengths and weaknesses in various organizational types, presenting a rich area for exploration in organizational studies and social sciences.

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