New Publication: »Openwashing: A Decoupling Perspective on Organizational Transparency«

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In my PhD project (supervised by Leonhard Dobusch) I studied the institutionalization of Open Data in and around the city administrations of Berlin, London and New York City.  One of the questions I tried to answer was how organizations balance a public demand for information sharing with their inherent preference for informational control. My answers have now been published in an article entitled “Openwashing: A decoupling perspective on organizational transparency” in Technological Forecasting and Social Change as part of a Special Issue on the Sharing Economy (edited by Aurélien Acquier, Thibault Daudigeos and Jonatan Pinkse). The abstract reads as follows: Continue reading “New Publication: »Openwashing: A Decoupling Perspective on Organizational Transparency«”

Special Issue in Long Range Planning on »Open Strategy«


Last year I blogged about a study on open strategy blogging of new ventures by Thomas Gegenhuber and myself, which had been accepted for publication at Long Range Planning. Now the whole special issue on “Open Strategy” is available online and these are the contributions: Continue reading “Special Issue in Long Range Planning on »Open Strategy«”

New Publication: »Making an Impression with Openness: How Open Strategy-Making Practices Change in the Evolution of New Ventures«


Thomas Gegenhuber and I have tracked open strategy-making practices on blogs of two ventures (Berlin-based mite and buffer in San Francisco) over the period of four years to answer the research question “how new ventures use open strategy-making as impression management over time?”. The article entitled “Making an Impression Through Openness: How Open Strategy-Making Practices Change in the Evolution of New Ventures” has now been accepted for publication in Long Range Planning as part of a special issue on Open Strategy (edited by Julia Hautz, David Seidl and Richard Whittington). The abstract reads as follows:

While previous open strategy studies have acknowledged open strategy’s function as an impression management instrument, their focus has mostly been on short episodes. The impression management literature, meanwhile, pays openness scant attention. By studying how new ventures engage in open strategy-making, we track how open strategy-making and respective impression management benefits evolve over time. Specifically, we draw on a comparative case study of two firms’ blog communication on strategy-related issues and corresponding audience responses over a four-year period. We identify three distinct modes of how organizations engage in open strategy-making with external audiences and show how each mode is related to a specific set of impression management effects. Having established the impression management functions of these modes, we then demonstrate how open strategy-making contributes to new ventures’ quests for legitimacy as they evolve. In the launch phase, dialoguing with blog audiences helps a venture attract endorsements for its organization and products. As the venture grows, concentrating on broadcasting relevant strategic information may attract media audiences’ additional support for pursuing openness as a desirable organizational practice.

Thomas has also blogged about our study. If your institution does not provide access to the article just e-mail me and I would be happy to share it with you. For more on open strategy-making in general and other contributions to the special issue in Long Range Planning, join the recently launched Open Strategy Network.

Open Strategy Network: New Platform for Research on Open Strategy-making

Foto: Leonhard Dobusch, CC-BY 4.0
Foto: Leonhard Dobusch, CC-BY 4.0

Fueled by new digital technologies and by the perceived success of concepts such as ‘open innovation’, we can observe a growing interest in open forms of organizing more generally both among practitioners as well as among organization scholars (see also the wiki-based course on the matter). One such new field representing the interest in organizational openness is the realm of strategy research under the label of ‘Open Strategy’. The recently launched online community platform ‘Open Strategy Network‘ tries to connect and foster exchange among scholars interested in this emerging phenomenon.

The platform has been initiated by David Seidl and Violetta Splitter (University of Zurich) together with Richard Whittington (Oxford University) and myself. Registered users will be able to contact each other and browse through open strategy articles listed in the bibliography. Currently, the number of entries in the bibliography is limited but several articles on different facets of open strategy are already in the pipeline – for instance, Long Range Planning will soon feature a special issue on ‘Open Strategy – Transparency and Inclusion in Strategy Processes‘.

To receive updates from the Open Strategy Network on new publications and other news related to open strategy research please follow @OpenStrategyNet on Twittter and Facebook or subscribe to the newsfeed of