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).

Continue reading “Looking back on the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019 in Boston”

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.

New Book Chapter: “The Relation between Openness and Closure in Open Strategy”

In any case, I would have been happy to contribute to the brand new “Cambridge Handbook of Open Strategy”, co-edited by David Seidl, (Universität Zürich), Richard Whittington (University of Oxford) and Georg von Krogh (ETH Zürich). Given that the chapter’s co-author is my sister Laura (Radboud University Nijmegen), I am even more proud about our contribution on “The Relation between Openness and Closure in Open Strategy: Programmatic and Constitutive Approaches to Openness”.  A short excerpt from the Introduction:

Two facets are all but universally present in current works on Open Strategy. First, while being aware of and addressing challenges and dilemmas associated with openness in strategy making (Hautz et al., 2017), increasing openness is mostly perceived as normatively good, as an ideal that should be achieved. […] Second, openness is mostly considered to be the opposite of closure, or at least the other endpoint of a continuum from closedness to various degrees of openness in terms of greater transparency or inclusion (Whittington et al., 2011).

Taken together, an affirmative perspective on openness as opposed to closure is central to a currently dominant programmatic approach, which is mainly concerned with putting openness into practice and unleashing its respective potential. However, as we will argue in this chapter, addressing many of the tensions or dilemmas observed in empirical endeavours to implement greater ‘openness’ could potentially benefit from another perspective, which understands openness (and closure) as a paradox (Putnam et al., 2016) where openness and closure appear contradictory but yet simultaneously depend on each other. Key for such a constitutive approach towards openness is that this paradox cannot be dissolved entirely but only addressed in a specific way, namely by legitimate forms of closure.

A pre-print version of the article is open access available at the Open Strategy Network, which features pre-prints of all chapters in the Handbook.

SCOS Talk on “Secret organizers: The ‘spectrogenic’ process of profiling and the effects of ‘ghostly demarcations’”

Right after the EGOS Colloquium in Edinburgh I had the opportunity to give a talk at the “Ghosts Conference York”, which is part of the Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism (SCOS).  The following provides a short summary of my talk on “Secret organizers: The ‘spectrogenic’ process of profiling and the effects of ‘ghostly demarcations’”.

Profiles’ are important technologies of organizing that are used in a multiplicity of contexts: customer-profiling, profiling for employment screening, credit-scoring, criminal investigations, immigration policy, health-care management, forensic biometrics, etc. Profiles organize perception and seeing and they are important media in (algorithmic) decision-making. They are ‘used to make decisions, sometimes even without human intervention’ (Hildebrandt, 2008: 18). All profiles are abstractions. In the process of profiling images of the person are created for the purpose of diagnosis or prediction. In the process of profiling ‘complex personhood’ (Gordon, 1997) is reduced to a finite number of traits, indicators, etc. Created models or figures may be fictions but these fictions are operationally effective, as they shape and intervene in the world. In the paper profiles are theorized as ‘ghosts’ that are produced in a ‘spectrogenic process’ (Derrida, 1994). The spectrogenic process describes the process of abstraction, in which (a) thoughts, ideas, data etc. are ‘torn loose’ from the ‘living body’ and integrated in a more abstract or ‘artifactual body’ and (b) the return of the abstraction (ghost) to the world of real life events in the process of ‘application’ where it ‘haunts’ those with whom profiles are associated. Continue reading “SCOS Talk on “Secret organizers: The ‘spectrogenic’ process of profiling and the effects of ‘ghostly demarcations’””

Looking back on the 35th EGOS Colloquium »Enlightening the Future« in Edinburgh

The annual Colloquium of the European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS) is a great opportunity to engage with a great variety of research communities. In 2019 University of Innsbruck’s department of organization and learning was represented with a record number of participants. Please find an overview of our contributions to this year’s EGOS Colloquium below.

Continue reading “Looking back on the 35th EGOS Colloquium »Enlightening the Future« in Edinburgh”

New Article: »Dynamics of the Sharing Economy between Commons and Commodification«

The essay “Dynamics of the Sharing Economy between Commons and Commodification” is based upon a conference paper presented at the conference “A Great Transformation? Global Perspectives on Contemporary Capitalisms” in 2017. It has now  been published in the most recent issue of Momentum Quarterly:

Revisiting scholarly debates around the weal and woe of the so-called “sharing economy,” this essay proposes a distinction between commons-based and market-based forms of the sharing economy. Applying a Polanyian lens to these two types of sharing economy not only reveals countervailing developments between commons and commodification depending on the type of platform governance; in addition, such a perspective also directs attention to externalities regularly associated with the expansion of market logics in previously nonmarket territories.

Check out the open access full text.