New Article: »From Becoming to Being Digital: The Emergence and Nature of the Post-Digital«

Foto: Leonhard Dobusch, CC BY 4.0

The article published in the journal i-com is based upon a revised transcript of an online discussion among four co-authors with different disciplinary backgrounds: Benjamin Müller (University of Lausanne) is an information system scholar, Sarah Diefenbach (LMU Munich) is a psychologist, Katharina Baer is a practitioner co-organizing a media conference series and myself as an organization scholar. What we all share is an interest in digital transformation, which led us to the topic of the article “From Becoming to Being Digital: The Emergence and Nature of the Post-Digital”. Specifically, we discuss the following questions:

Thus, if digitalization as a phenomenon is transitory, what should we expect in society, business, and science once this turn is complete? What will a world that is digitalized look like? And until then, how do we deal with the challenges that increasingly far-reaching digitalization seems to pose for us today? In short, how can we approach an understanding of the post-digital, even today?

Müller et al. (2021: 319)

In case you or your institution does not have access to the full text of the article, please do not hesitate to contact me.

New Article in Long Range Planning: »Open about organizational failure«

Foto: Nong Vang via Unsplash

After what had begun as the supervisor of Nils Köster‘s master thesis when I was still at Freie University of Berlin has finally resulted in a publication, together with co-authors Erik Schäfer (also FU Berlin) and Christoph Seckler (ESCP). The article “Open about organizational failure: A communication perspective on postmortem impression management” has been accepted for publication in Long Range Planning and shows how postmortem statements of failed startup founders may lead to what we call an “organizational afterlife”:

Being open about failure as an entrepreneur is an increasingly common practice in and beyond startup communities, for example by proactively and strategically crafting public statements to frame subsequent failure conversations. Combining an impression management perspective with an analysis of communicative genres of failure narratives, we empirically investigate postmortem statements of failed entrepreneurs. Shifting the discourse from the (content of the) failure narratives towards considering its broader communicative context, we show how genres emerge from patterns of failure narratives and impression management strategies. Our analysis suggests that subgenres of postmortem statements represent different forms of openness about failure, and some subgenres in particular contribute to establishing an ‘organizational afterlife’ as a potentially long-lasting impression management strategy.

The journal pre-proof version is already available at the journal’s website. In case you don’t have access please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with a copy.

Neuer Buchbeitrag: ‘Freie Lizenzen und öffentlich-rechtliche Medien: Wettbewerbspolitische Dimensionen’

Eine meiner letzten Tagungsreisen vor Corona führte mich 2020 nach Radein in Südtirol. Dort treffen sich seit über 50 Jahren vor allem ordoliberale Ökonom:innen zum Seminar Radein und verstehen sich laut Selbstbeschreibung als “ältester ordnungspolitischer ‘Think Tank’ in Europa”.

Ich durfte dort einen Vortrag zum Thema “Freie Lizenzen und öffentlich-rechtlicher Rundfunk: Wettbewerbspolitische Dimensionen” halten (siehe Slides), der nun auch als Buchbeitrag in einem von Oliver Budzinski, Justus Haucap, Annika Stöhr und Dirk Wentzel herausgegebenen Sammelband “Zur Ökonomik von Sport, Entertainment und Medien: Schnittstellen und Hintergründe” erschienen ist.

Aus der Einleitung:

Continue reading “Neuer Buchbeitrag: ‘Freie Lizenzen und öffentlich-rechtliche Medien: Wettbewerbspolitische Dimensionen’”

New Article in RSO: “Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma”

We, that is Katharina Zangerle, Konstantin Hondros, Sigrid Quack, myself, have recently contributed to an issue in “Research in the Sociology of Organizations” on “Organizing Creativity in the Innovation Journey”. The article is based upon data collected in the course of our joint DFG-funded research project on “Organizing Creativity under Regulatory Uncertainty: Challenges of Intellectual Property”. The photo below was obviously taken pre-pandemic but captures quite nicely the exhausted happiness we feel right now. And feelings and emotions is also what our article is about.

In our article “Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma” we approach the issues of what rules and uncertainty have to do with creativity, with distinct professions navigating and organizing creators’ related emotional experiences.

Continue reading “New Article in RSO: “Between Anxiety and Hope? How Actors Experience Regulatory Uncertainty in Creative Processes in Music and Pharma””

Neuer Artikel in Leviathan: “Strukturwandel der wissenschaftlichen Öffentlichkeit: Konstitution und Konsequenzen des Open-Access-Pfades”

Gemeinsam mit Maximilian Heimstädt durfte ich einen Beitrag zum brandneuen Leviathan-Sonderband “Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit?” beisteuern. In unserem Beitrag analysieren wir “Konstitution und Konsequenzen des Open-Access-Pfades” als einen zentralen Prozess im “Strukturwandel der wissenschaftlichen Öffentlichkeit”.

Unsere zentrale These: Erst neue und teilweise illegale Akteure wie Schattenbibliotheken (z.B. Sci-Hub) und Preprint-Server haben es ermöglicht, die Pfadabhängigkeit des wissenschaftlichen Publikationsmarkts zu brechen und auf breiter Front (z.B. Projekt DEAL) Open-Access-Ansätzen zu forcieren. Nur weil Wissenschaftler:innen trotz der Kündigung von Rahmenverträgen mit #Elsevier & Co weiterhin einfachen Zugang zu wissenschaftlicher Literatur hatten, konnten Unis und andere Forschungseinrichtungen auch längerfristig so einen vertragslosen Zustand durchhalten.

Continue reading “Neuer Artikel in Leviathan: “Strukturwandel der wissenschaftlichen Öffentlichkeit: Konstitution und Konsequenzen des Open-Access-Pfades””

“Vorhersageprodukte“: Algorithmische Entscheidungsfindung, Profiling und die Kapitalisierung des Werdens

Richard Weiskopf, Institut für Organisation und Lernen, Universität Innsbruck

Im Kontext des “Überwachungskapitalismus” werden digitale Spuren in Profile bzw. “Vorhersageprodukte” umgewandelt. Da jedes Stück Daten für irgend jemanden von potenziellem Wert ist, kann auch jedes Versatzstück in irgendeinem Profil landen, das für irgendjemanden von Nutzen ist und daher verkauft werden kann. Auf die Monetarisierung der Daten haben sich verschiedene Databroker, Directmarketer und andere Organisationen und Unternehmen spezialisiert, die eine Expertise in der Verarbeitung, Analyse und Verwertung von Daten haben. Auf der Basis scheinbar rationaler und neutraler Berechnungen verwandelt das „new profiling“ das offene Werden in eine kalkulierte Zukunft, die zu einer profitablen Quelle der Generierung von Einkommen und Kapital wird.

Dass wir uns im Visier bestimmter Organisationen befinden und Zielscheiben von Profiling- und Vorhersagemaschinen sind, wird uns häufig nur sporadisch bewusst. Beispielsweise dann, wenn wir eine individualisierte oder personalisierte Nachricht von unbekannter Stelle erhalten, wenn uns ein maßgeschneidertes Produkt angeboten wird, wenn wir am Flughafen oder an der Grenze angehalten werden und als Risiko oder potentieller Terrorist “erkannt” werden; es wird uns auch dann bewusst, wenn uns der Zugang zu öffentlichen Räumen, Versicherungsleistungen, begehrten Stellen oder Positionen, zu Krediten, Dienst- oder Sozialleistungen etc. verwehrt wird, weil wir (bzw. unser Profil) nicht zu den im Vorfeld von anonymen Instanzen definierten Kriterien passen. So wird auf der Basis von Prognosen eine mögliche Zukunft verbaut. Als eine Form der instrumentären Macht Vorhersageprodukte den ethisch-politischen Raum der Imagination und potentiellen Transformation zum Verschwinden. Der kritischen Forschung geht es darum, diesen verdeckten Raum sichtbar zu machen und damit eine Problematisierung der Wirkungen und Effekte dieser Verfahren in Gang zu setzen.

Zum Volltext hier entlang.

New Article in SBUR: “How do Potential Applicants Make Sense of Employer Brands?”

Source: Auer et al. (2021: 64)

Manfred Auer, together with Gabriele Edlinger and Andreas Mölk, has just published an article addressing the question “How do Potential Applicants Make Sense of Employer Brands?” in the newly merged Open Access journal of the German Academic Association of Business Research (VHB):

The aim of this paper is to investigate processes of subjective employer brand interpretations. We draw on the first-person perspectives of sought-after applicants who articulated their thoughts while being exposed to employer brand material and on subsequent in-depth interviews with the study participants about their assessments of the various employers’ attractiveness. Sensemaking as a theoretical framework to understand meaning-making in processes of actors’ engagement with artifacts is employed to analyze this qualitative data. Based on our empirical findings, we present a process model that illustrates how potential applicants make sense of employer brands. This dominant sensemaking journey includes three different stages: exploring the employer brand material, constructing a plausible employer image and assessing employer attractiveness. However, this trajectory is neither the only possible way nor completely linear and predictable since deviations, particularly the complete breakdown of making sense of employer brand material, are possible.

Check out the full text here.

New Article in RSO: Striving for societal impact as an early-career researcher

Heroic, non-heroic and post-heroic perspective on societal impact (Source: Friesike et al., 2021)

When we think about societal impact of researchers, we mostly have prominent senior scholars in mind. In an article forthcoming in Research in the Sociology of Organizations (RSO), Sascha Friesike, Maximilian Heimstaedt and I have taken a different focus and reflected on “Striving for societal impact as an early-career researcher”. Before we arrive at our post-heroic perspective on impact (see Figure above), we discuss 5 common concerns early-career researchers commonly struggle with when considering impact work.

Continue reading “New Article in RSO: Striving for societal impact as an early-career researcher”

New Article: “Dis/organising visibilities: Governmentalisation and counter-transparency”

I have published an article in the journal Organization entitled “Dis/organising visibilities: Governmentalisation and counter-transparency”. The article uses the case of Edward Snowden for developing a critical concept of organizational transparency. Here is abstract and link to the article:

This paper situates organisational transparency in an agonistic space that is shaped by the interplay of ‘mechanisms of power that adhere to a truth’ and critical practices that come from below in a movement of ‘not being governed like that and at that cost’ (Foucault, 2003: 265). This positioning involves an understanding of transparency as a practice that is historically contingent and multiple, and thus negotiable and contested. By illustrating the entanglement of ‘power through transparency’ and ‘counter-transparency’ with reference to the example of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing, the paper contributes to the critique of transparency and to debates on the use of Foucauldian concepts in post-panoptic contexts of organising. By introducing the notion of ‘counter-transparency’, the paper expands the conceptual vocabulary for understanding the politics and ethics of managing and organising visibility.

Please check out the open access article here.

New Article in Organization Theory: Transparency and Accountability: Causal, Critical and Constructive Perspectives

Earlier this year, the journal Organization Theory launched as the sister journal to Organization Studies, similar to the distinction between AMJ (empirical) and AMR (theoretical) at the Academy of Management. Part of Organization Theory is a “Conversations and Controversies section”, where Maximilian Heimstädt and I managed to publish an article entitled “Transparency and Accountability: Causal, Critical and Constructive Perspectives”. The abstract of reads as follows:

Given the excessive power of Google and other large technology firms, transparency and accountability have turned into matters of great concern for organization scholars. So far, most studies adopt either a causal or critical perspective on the relationship between the two concepts. These perspectives are pitted against each other but share some basic assumptions – a fact which limits organization theory’s ability to fully grasp the management of (digital) visibilities. To address these limitations, we therefore propose a third, constructive perspective on these concepts. A constructive perspective turns transparency and accountability from analytic resources into topics of inquiry, allowing organization scholars to study how people in and around organizations put them to work and with what consequences. We introduce sites of ethical contestation as a new methodological strategy to conduct surprising and unintuitive empirical research from a constructive perspective.

The other article of the controversy has been authored by Richard Whittington and Basak Yakis-Douglas, who wrote about “The Grand Challenge of Corporate Control: Opening strategy to the normative pressures of networked professionals”. Both articles are available open access.