Ten years ago, in autumn 2013, I had teamed up with Georg von Krogh and Richard Whittington applying for a first of what turned out to become a series of four sub-themes on organizational openness that I had the honor to co-convene:
- 2015: “Open Organizations for an Open Society? Practicing Openness in Innovation, Strategy and Beyond”
- 2017: “Open Strategy: Practices, Perspectives and Problems”
- 2019: “Open Organizing for an Open Society? Connecting Research on Organizational Openness”
- 2021: “Openness as an Organizing Principle: Revisiting Diversity and Inclusion in Strategy, Innovation, and Beyond”
One red thread throughout these EGOS sub-themes was the goal to connect research on organizational openness across various domains. Building upon these discussions, Violetta Splitter, Richard Whittington, Georg von Krogh, Peter Walgenbach and I applied for editing a special issue on “Open Organizing in an Open Society? Conditions, Consequences and Contradictions of Openness as an Organizing Principle”, which has now finally been published. The introductory article is available as an open access full text:
‘Openness’ has become an organizational leitmotif of our time, spreading across a growing set of organizational domains. However, discussions within these specialized domains (e.g. open data, open government or open innovation) treat openness in isolation and specific to the particularities of those domains. The intention of this Special Issue therefore is to foster cross-domain conversations to exchange insights and build cumulative knowledge on openness. To do so, this Introduction to the Special Issue argues that openness should be investigated as a general organizing principle, which we refer to as Open Organizing. Across domains, we define Open Organizing as a dynamic organizing principle along the primary dimension of transparency/opacity and the secondary dimensions of inclusion/exclusion and distributed/concentrated decision rights. As such, Open Organizing raises an overarching problem of design, which results from more specific epistemic, normative and political challenges.
Please make sure to also check out the great contributions in the special issue – we are really indebted to all the hard work and effort that the authors had put into their articles:
- Vaast, E.: Strangers in the Dark: Navigating opacity and transparency in open online career-related knowledge sharing
- Holstein, J., & Rantakari, A.: Space and the Dynamic Between Openness and Closure: Open strategizing in the TV series Borgen
- Reischauer, G., & Ringel, L.: Unmanaged Transparency in a Digital Society: Swiss army knife or double-edged sword?
- Lingo, E.L.: Digital Curation and Creative Brokering: Managing information overload in open organizing
- Diriker, D., Porter, A.J., Tuertscher, P.: Orchestrating Open Innovation through Punctuated Openness: A process model of open organizing for tackling wicked multi-stakeholder problems