We regularly publish in top-tier academic journals such as Academy of Management, Management Information Systems Quarterly, Organization Science, and Information Systems Research. Below we highlight several of our recent top publications, our full list of publications can be found here.
Copy, transform, combine: exploring the remix as a form of innovation
In: Journal of Information Technology
Published: August 15th, 2017
Christoph M. Flath
The reuse of existing knowledge is an indispensable part of the creation of novel ideas. In the creative domain knowledge reuse is a common practice known as “remixing”. With the emergence of open internet-based platforms in recent years, remixing has found its way from the world of music and art to the design of arbitrary physical goods. However, despite its obvious relevance for the number and quality of innovations on such platforms, little is known about the process of remixing and its contextual factors. This paper considers the example of Thingiverse, a platform for the 3D printing community that allows its users to create, share, and access a broad range of printable digital models. We present an explorative study of remixing activities that took place on the platform over the course of six years by using an extensive set of data on models and users. On the foundation of these empirically observed phenomena, we formulate a set of theoretical propositions and managerial implications regarding (1) the role of remixes in design communities, (2) the different patterns of remixing processes, (3) the platform features that facilitate remixes, and (4) the profile of the remixing platform’s users.
Debating big data: A literature review on realizing value from big data
In: The Journal of Strategic Information Systems.
Published: August 14th, 2017.
Big data has been considered to be a breakthrough technological development over recent years. Notwithstanding, we have as yet limited understanding of how organizations translate its potential into actual social and economic value. We conduct an in-depth systematic review of IS literature on the topic and identify six debates central to how organizations realize value from big data, at different levels of analysis. Based on this review, we identify two socio-technical features of big data that influence value realization: portability and interconnectivity. We argue that, in practice, organizations need to continuously realign work practices, organizational models, and stakeholder interests in order to reap the benefits from big data. We synthesize the findings by means of an integrated model.
Through The Eyes Of Others: How Onlookers Shape The Use Of Technology at Work
Published: July 18th, 2017.
In this paper, we argue that the use of technology is structured not only by users, technology, and social context, but also by onlookers (i.e., actors for whom the use is visible, but who are not directly involved in the activities of use themselves). Building on the “technology-in-practice” lens and insights of an ethnographic study in operating rooms where nurses used mobile technology for various work-related and recreational purposes, we show how onlookers contribute to structuring collective patterns of technology use. We conceptualize their role as the onlooker effect, which means that onlookers’ inferences, judgments, and reactions trigger users to reflect on consequences and adjust the use in front of others, a phenomenon which is activated by the cues unintentionally given off when using technology. By identifying the role of onlookers in technology use, this study goes beyond user-centric and feature-centric perspectives on information technology use, illustrating that it does not happen in a physical vacuum, but often draws in unintended audiences. The onlooker effect provides a more in-depth explanation for unexpected patterns of technology use emerging in the workplace.
Organizing Authority in the Climate Change Debate: IPCC Controversies and the Management of Dialectical Tensions
In: Organization Studies
Published: June 22, 2017
At the centre of the undeniably contentious debates about climate change lies the question of authority: Which voices will be heard and, thus, who will influence policy, activism, and scientific inquiry? Following high-profile errors found in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Dutch Parliament sought to achieve ‘balance’ in these debates by bringing together climate scientists and skeptics for a set of online discussions. Using both communication and dialectical theorizing, we explore the organizing of authority around climate change in the Netherlands. We locate dialectical tensions and discursive positions of diverse actors in the debate, examining the communication practices by which actors sought to resolve tensions as part of three authoritative moves: bridging, (de)coupling, and resisting. The combination of these authoritative moves failed to engage with – and therefore could not resolve – the sources of the underlying dialectical tensions. We build on these insights to suggest contributions to the climate change debate and theory on authority in organization studies.
Intellectual Property Norms in Online Communities: How User-Organized Intellectual Property Regulation Supports Innovation.
In: Information Systems Research
Published: October 17, 2016
In many online communities, users reveal innovative and potentially valuable intellectual property (IP) under conditions that entail the risk of theft and imitation. When there is rivalry and formal IP law is not effective, this could lead to underinvestment or withholding of IP, unless user-organized norms compensate for these shortcomings. This study is the first to explore the characteristics and functioning of such a norms-based IP system in the setting of anonymous, large-scale, and loose-knit online communities. To do so, we use data on the Threadless crowdsourcing community obtained through netnography, a survey, and a field experiment. On this basis, we identify an integrated system of well-established norms that regulate the use of IP within this community. We analyze the system’s characteristics and functioning, and we find that the “legal certainty” it provides is conducive to cooperation, cumulative effects, and innovation. We generalize our findings from the case by developing propositions aimed to spark further research. These propositions focus on similarities and differences between norms-based IP systems in online and off-line settings, and the conditions that determine the existence of norms-based IP systems as well as their form and effectiveness in online communities. In this way, we contribute to the literatures on norms-based IP systems and online communities and offer advice for the management of crowdsourcing communities.
Generating novelty through interdependent routines: A process model of routine work
In: Organization Science
Published: May 6, 2016
We investigate how multiple actors accomplish interdependent routine performances directed at novel intended outcomes and how this affects routine dynamics over time. We report findings from a longitudinal ethnographic study in an automotive company where actors developed a new business model around information-based services. By analyzing episodes involving interdependent routines, we develop a process model of routine work and dynamics across routines. We identify three types of routine work (flexing, stretching, and inventing) that generate increasingly novel actions and outcomes. Flexed, stretched, and invented performances create emerging consequences for further actions across routines and surface differences between actors that could lead to breakdowns of routine work. Actors respond to such consequences through iterative and cascading episodes of routine work. We discuss how our findings provide new insights in efforts to create variable routine performances and the consequences of interdependence for routine dynamics.
Knowledge Sharing on Enterprise Social Media: Practices to Cope with Institutional Complexity
In: Journal of Computer-mediated Communication
Published: February 29th, 2016
This study examines the use of enterprise social media (ESM) for organizational knowledge sharing and shows that professionals face ambiguities because their knowledge sharing behavior is informed by an institutional complexity that consists of 2 dissimilar institutional logics: logics of the profession, and logics of the corporation. Our qualitative case study of an ESM at an IT consultancy organization shows that professionals find ways to manage the ambiguities they experience by engaging the affordances of ESM in such a way as to develop coping practices: connection management, reputation management, and information management. By complementing the affordance perspective with an institutional logics perspective, we are able to advance scholarly understanding on how ESM can facilitate but also frustrate knowledge sharing.
Mobile devices in the operating room: Intended and unintended consequences for nurses’ work
In: Health Informatics Journal
Published:December 3rd, 2015.
This article reports the results of a case study of the consequences of mobile device use for the work practices of operating room nurses. The study identifies different patterns of mobile technology use by operating room nurses, including both work-related and non-work-related use. These patterns have multiple consequences for nurses, such as improvements in information access, e-learning and work-related communication, as well as a perceived increase in distractions from the collaborative work. We conceptualize these consequences in terms of three level effects and explain how we find both positive and negative consequences on the third level. On the positive side, improvements were found in how nurses spent their unoccupied time during the stable parts of operations, contributing to their well-being and job satisfaction. A negative consequence was the perceived increase in distraction from the collaborative operating room work practices.
Justification and Interlaced Knowledge at ATLAS, CERN
In: Organization Science
Published: April 2, 2014.
We report on a longitudinal study of the emergence of the ATLAS detector, a complex technological system developed at CERN, Geneva. Our data show that the coordination of initial architectural choices was driven by cycles of contestation and justification that resulted in the creation of what we term interlaced knowledge—pockets of shared knowledge interwoven within and across subsystem communities at ATLAS. We also found that these justifications were possible because of the presence of a boundary infrastructure that served as a common substrate of knowledge for all ATLAS participants. Together, the boundary infrastructure and interlaced knowledge enabled participants to make co-oriented technological choices, address latent interdependencies, and minimize the incidence and severity of glitches when integrating the various subsystems.