Purpose – Traditionally, most studies focus on institutionalized management-driven actors to understand technology management innovation. The purpose of this paper is to argue that there is a need for research to study the nature and role of dissident non-institutionalized actors’ (i.e. outsourced web designers and rapid application software developers). The authors propose that through online social knowledge sharing, non-institutionalized actors’ solution-finding tensions enable technology management innovation.
Design/methodology/approach – A synthesis of the literature and an analysis of the data (21 interviews) provided insights in three areas of solution-finding tensions enabling management innovation. The authors frame the analysis on the peripherally deviant work and the nature of the ways that dissident non-institutionalized actors deviate from their clients (understood as the firm) original contracted objectives.
Findings – The findings provide insights into the productive role of solution-finding tensions in enabling opportunities for management service innovation. Furthermore, deviant practices that leverage non-institutionalized actors’ online social knowledge to fulfill customers’ requirements are not interpreted negatively, but as a positive willingness to proactively explore alternative paths.
Research limitations/implications – The findings demonstrate the importance of dissident non-institutionalized actors in technology management innovation. However, this work is based on a single country (USA) and additional research is needed to validate and generalize the findings in other cultural and institutional settings.
Originality/value – This paper provides new insights into the perceptions of dissident non-institutionalized actors in the practice of IT managerial decision making. The work departs from, but also extends, the previous literature, demonstrating that peripherally deviant work in solution-finding practice creates tensions, enabling management innovation between IT providers and users.
- Innovation driver/enabler/factors/process
- Resistance to change
- Shared knowledge
- Web services