Call for Papers for a Special Issue in Ephemera: Speaking truth to power?

Together with fellow issue editors Randi Heinrichs and Bernadette Loacker, I am inviting contributions to an ephemera special issue on “Speaking truth to power? The ethico-politics of whistleblowing in contemporary mass-mediated economy” (PDF). From the Call for Papers:

[T]his special issue situates the experience of whistleblowing in the context of contemporary discourses and practices, such as security, transparency and accountability, and is thereby particularly interested in the exploration of the ethical and political dimensions and implications of practices of whistleblowing. It raises the question of who is considered to be qualified to blow the whistle, under which conditions, about what, in what forms, with what consequences, and with what relation to power (Foucault, 2001). How is the figure of the whistleblower socially and discursively constructed and is there, for example, a specific relation to gender, race and class implied? How and at what cost do whistleblowers as political actors constitute themselves as ethical subjects, capable of taking risks and posing a challenge, capable of governing themselves and of governing others? Moreover, why are we suddenly faced with a boom of whistleblowing and an intensified ‘problematisation’ of the phenomenon in so-called digital cultures? Or, from another perspective, for which social, political, legal and also technical difficulties is whistleblowing the answer?

Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2018. All contributions should be submitted to one of the issue editors: Randi Heinrichs (randi.heinrichs AT, Bernadette Loacker (b.loacker AT, Richard Weiskopf (richard.weiskopf AT Please note that three categories of contributions are invited for the special issue: articles, notes, and reviews. Information about these types of contributions can be found at: The submissions will undergo a double-blind review process. All submissions should follow ephemera’s submission guidelines (see the ‘Abc of formatting’ guide in particular). For further information, please contact me or one of the other special issue editors.

New Publication: »Memes as Games: The Evolution of a Digital Discourse Online«

Stylized depiction of the “Hope” meme (Seiffert-Brockmann et al., 2017)

Probably the most pervasive example of how the internet turned popular culture from read-only into read-write (Lessig, 2008) is internet memes. In a new paper published in New Media & Society, Jens Seiffert-Brockmann, Trevor Diehl and myself have tried theoretically capture the communication logic of how memes spread and evolve. This is the abstract:  Continue reading “New Publication: »Memes as Games: The Evolution of a Digital Discourse Online«”

Study Questions for Article on »Financialization as Strategy« Courtesy of Dirk Bezemer

Today I received a surprising and pleasant e-mail by Dirk Bezemer from University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He had come across the recently published article of Sebastian Botzem and myself on “Financialization as strategy: Accounting for inter-organizational value creation in the European real estate industry” (see also a summary of key points). And he not only read the paper but also chose to use it as a teaching case.

And I am very grateful that Dirk agreed to sharing his teaching questions on this blog (DOC/PDF), thereby effectively turning a research paper into a teaching case.

Continue reading “Study Questions for Article on »Financialization as Strategy« Courtesy of Dirk Bezemer”

Program of the 2nd OS ConJunction Students and Alumni Day: »Organizing and Entrepreneurship«

(Picture: Martin Grandjean, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Alumni-Team of the Master Program Organization Studies and the Transferstelle Wissenschaft – Wirtschaft – Gesellschaft invite to the 1st Organization Studies ConJunction Students and Alumni Day on November 24, 2017, 3:00 p.m., Kaiser-Leopold-Saal, Faculty of Theology, University of Innsbruck. And this is the program under the headline of “Organizing and Entrepreneurship”: Continue reading “Program of the 2nd OS ConJunction Students and Alumni Day: »Organizing and Entrepreneurship«”

New Publication: »Open strategy-making with crowds and communities«

Academic publication processes often take some time. For example, the article “Open strategy-making with crowds and communities: Comparing Wikimedia and Creative Commons” by Jakob Kapeller and myself, which has now been published in Long Range Planning, is not entirely new. Back in 2013 at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, we had already received the prestigious Carolyn Dexter Best International Paper Award for a previous version of the article. Several rounds of revision later, we can proudly present the abstract of the now published final version of the paper:

In the wake of new digital technologies, organizations rely increasingly on contributions by external actors to innovate or even to fulfill their core tasks, including strategy-making processes. These external actors may take the form of crowds, where actors are isolated and dispersed, or of communities, where these actors are related and self-identify as members of their communities. While we know that including new actors in strategy-making may lead to tensions, we know little about how these tensions differ when either crowds or communities are concerned. Investigating this question by analyzing open strategy-making initiatives conducted by two non-profit organizations (Creative Commons and Wikimedia), we find that tensions with communities may be resolved with increasing openness in strategy-making, while crowds are better compatible with more exclusive strategy-making practices.

The full text of the article is available at the journal’s website. As usual, please send me an e-mail in case you are interested but your institution does not provide access to the journal.

New Publication: »Open to Feedback? Formal and Informal Recursivity in Creative Commons’ Transnational Standard-Setting«

Animation by Creative Commons (Source)

Together with Sigrid Quack (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Markus Lang (University of Heidelberg), I have investigated the case of Creative Commons to learn more about formal and informal feedback cycles in transnatioal standard-setting. The article “Open to Feedback? Formal and Informal Recursivity in Creative Commons’ Transnational Standard-Setting” has been published in Global Policy and the abstract reads as follows:

In this article, we examine how non-membership organizations that claim stewardship over a transnational public or common good, such as the environmental or digital commons, develop combinations of formal and informal recursivity to develop and maintain regulatory conversations with their dispersed user communities. Based on a case study of Creative Commons, an organization that developed what have become the most widely used open licenses for digital content, we show how rhetorical openness to informal feedback from legitimacy communities in different sectors and countries can improve the feasibility and diffusion of standards. However, as long as the standard-setter’s methods of making decisions on the basis of such feedback remains opaque, its communities are likely to raise accountability demands for more extensive ex post justifications.

Global Policy also asks its authors to provide at least three policy implications, which we were happy to deliver: Continue reading “New Publication: »Open to Feedback? Formal and Informal Recursivity in Creative Commons’ Transnational Standard-Setting«”