Framing innovation opportunities while staying committed to an organizational epistemic stance

Anne Laure Fayard, Emmanouil Gkeredakis, Natalia Levina

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper examines how an organization's culture, and in particular its stance toward the pursuit of knowledge and innovation, matters when confronting new digitally enabled practices for generating novel insights. We draw on an in-depth interpretive study of how two innovation consulting firms encountered crowdsourcing for innovation. Our findings suggest that, although both organizations relied on a similar set of organizational arrangements in their daily consulting work, they enacted different positions vis-à-vis crowdsourcing: one firm further experimented with it, whereas the other rejected it altogether. These different positions emerged as organizational actors examined, framed, and evaluated crowdsourcing as an alternative for generating knowledge. To interpret these findings, we draw on philosophy of science and develop the concept of organizational epistemic stance, defined as an attitude that organizational actors collectively enact in pursuing knowledge. Our analysis suggests that when organizational actors encounter and explore information technology-enabled practices, such as crowdsourcing and big data analytics, they are likely to remain committed to their epistemic stance to frame such practices and judge their potential value for pursuing knowledge. This paper contributes to our understanding of encounters with, and adoption and diffusion of, new organizational practices and offers new ways of thinking about crowdsourcing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)302-323
    Number of pages22
    JournalInformation Systems Research
    Volume27
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

    Keywords

    • Crowdsourcing
    • Epistemic stance
    • IT innovation adoption
    • Innovation
    • Interpretive research
    • Knowledge creation
    • Organizational culture
    • Philosophy of science

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Management Information Systems
    • Information Systems
    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Information Systems and Management
    • Library and Information Sciences

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