Parlagram visualisiert worüber das österreichische Parlament spricht

Ziemlich genau zwölf Jahre nach der Ankündigung des ersten Momentum-Kongresses 2007 ist daraus im September 2019 mit dem Momentum Institut das Experiment eines “Think Tanks der Vielen” hervorgegangen. Wie schon beim Kongress bin ich Mitgründer und versuche als wissenschaftlicher Leiter den Dialog und wechselseitigen Transfer zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Zivilgesellschaft zu unterstützen.

Als eines der ersten Projekte ist seit kurzem das Parlagram online verfügbar. Das Online-Tool macht die Debatten im österreichischen Nationalrat für die Vielen durchsuchbar. Worüber reden die gewählten Volksvertreterinnen und Volksvertreter im Parlament eigentlich? Welche Themen und Anliegen finden Gehör, was bleibt im wörtlichen Sinne unerwähnt?

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Selling products or life stories? The storytelling of “hero” entrepreneurs

This essay is provided by Hannah Schupfer, student in the master program Organization Studies at University of Innsbruck, and based on her master thesis.

“The worlds most powerful person is the greatest storyteller” – Steve Jobs (1995)

Nowadays, the Silicon Valley is brimming with firms whose CEOs and founders apparently are role models for today’s generation of young entrepreneurs. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page and alike are regarded as geniuses in their areas of expertise. To the wider audience they are especially known for their entrepreneurial success story. How often did we hear the story about Bill Gates and how he made up his way from working in his garage to become the CEO of one of the world’s most famous companies? Or Mark Zuckerberg – do we start thinking about Facebook or do we maybe first think about the lucky college dropout?  

A relatively coherent group of people that share a similar background and hold certain attributes in common can – theoretically – be defined as a social category. In my master thesis, I investigated how the category of today’s “hero” entrepreneurs has been formed. Specifically, I analyzed how the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs “tell their story” which, I argue, influences how the social category of the hero entrepreneur is shaped and understood.

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Call for Proposals to SMS Special Conference on “Open, Crowd and Participatory Strategy: Strategy, Technology & Power”

At next year’s special conference of Strategic Management Society (SMS) on “Designing the Future: Strategy, Technology and Society in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, March 27-27, 2020 in Berkeley, Julia Hautz from the neighbouring Department on Strategic Management is co-organizing Track on “Open, Crowd and Participatory Strategy: Strategy, Technology & Power”:

Strategy processes are becoming more open by increasing transparency and inclusion. This openness is even more relevant when managers engage with grand societal challenges and complex, emergent technologies characterized by radical uncertainty. Inclusive strategizing makes more strategic information available and enables more internal and external stakeholders to engage in strategic conversations. Under which conditions is it beneficial for companies to open their strategy process, and when should they opt for more secrecy? What are the intended and unintended consequences of openness along the strategy process? What are potential “side effects?” What is the right balance of “openness” and “closure” in the strategy process? What are the barriers for more openness, and how can they be overcome? Additionally, it is intriguing to investigate how new technologies alter the very process of strategy and, consequently, impact social and organizational structures, power distribution and roles of an organization. This track welcomes all research proposals related to these themes across a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives.

Deadline for the submission of proposals is October 3, 2019. Please check out the full call for proposals as a PDF.

New Course Syllabus: »Organizing the Digital in the Public Sphere«

Last year our Faculty of Business and Management launched the new master’s program “Digital Business”. As part of this program I had the opportunity to design the course “Organizing the Digital in the Public Sphere”. From the syllabus, which I am happy to make available as a PDF download (licensed CC BY):

Digitalization is affecting not just private sector businesses but also the public sector. At the same time, the whole notion of “public” is changing in the course of ongoing digital transformations. By referring to the “Public Sphere”, this course seeks to capture both these dynamics. Consequently, the course comprises two main parts. The first part focuses on the digital transformation of public sector institutions such as public administrations, public service providers and public utilities. The second part addresses the public more broadly and looks at new forms of platform-based publics as well as provision of public goods with private means.

Didactically this is the first course that I designed following a point-counterpoint format: in each session two students will open with talks representing oppositional viewpoints on the subject before we enter into a joint plenary discussion of the readings.

Looking back on the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019 in Boston

At the AoM meeting in Boston together with the current chair of the SAP Interest Group, Sotirios Paroutis and my predecessor as PDW chair Katharina Dittrich (both from University of Warwick)

Recently I had been elected to the leadership track of the  Strategizing Activities and Practices (SAP) Interest Group in the Academy of Managment (AoM). This means that I will be responsible for co-organizing the interest group’s program at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management for the next five years, starting in 2020. So at this year’s Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Boston I was not only taking part in the academic program but also had several meetings preparing me for my duties in this regard. In 2020, my main responsibility will be to organize the various Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) of the Interest Group. In case you have ideas or proposals regarding this part of the meeting’s program, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Below is a list of my scholarly contributions at this year’s AoM Annual Meeting:

  • “From Programmatic to Constitutive Perspectives: Two Approaches to Studying Openness in Strategy and Beyond” in a Professional Development Workshop on “Open Strategy: Practices and Perspectives” (see slides below; slides of all contributors are available at the Open Strategy Network).

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New Article on »Creating digital innovation« in Research Policy

In the article “Creating digital innovation: Bridging analog and digital expertise” I, together with my co-authors Raissa Pershina and Taran Thune (both University of Oslo), investigate how digital innovation is created. The empirical setting for our study is the development of digital serious games, a novel breed of digital learning products whose creation involves a wide range of gaming/digital and learning/analog expertise. We look at how experts rooted in digital and analog knowledge domains jointly innovate. Continue reading “New Article on »Creating digital innovation« in Research Policy”

New Book Chapter: »Alternating between Partial and Complete Organization«

Building upon a previous joint article on “Fluidity, Identity, Organizationality: The Communicative Constitution of Anonymous”, my co-author Dennis Schoeneborn and I dig deeper into issues related to the concept of “partial organizations” in a new book chapter entitled “Alternating between Partial and Complete Organization: The Case of Anonymous”. Specifically, the case of the hacker collective Anonymous illustrates that longer periods of ‘partialness’ may alternate with temporary punctuations, during which a social collective accomplishes a ‘completion’ of its organizationality. As a consequence, with our book chapter we seek to contribute to a processual and dynamic theory of partial organization, thereby applying a communication as constitutive of organization (CCO) perspective.

The chapter is part of the volume “Organization outside Organizations
The Abundance of Partial Organization in Social Life” (2019, Cambridge University Press), edited by Göran Ahrne and Nils Brunsson. A pre-print version of the Chapter is openly available as a PDF.