Dissidents with an innovation cause? Non-institutionalized actors’ online social knowledge sharing, solution-finding tensions and technology management innovation

Ronan de Kervenoael, Christophe Bisson*, Mark Palmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-676
Number of pages24
JournalInformation Technology and People
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015

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dissident
Innovation
innovation
cause
management
knowledge
Application programs
customer
Decision making
firm
decision making
methodology
interview
Values

Bibliographical note

*

Keywords

  • Innovation driver/enabler/factors/process
  • Resistance to change
  • Shared knowledge
  • Web services

Cite this

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title = "Dissidents with an innovation cause? Non-institutionalized actors’ online social knowledge sharing, solution-finding tensions and technology management innovation",
abstract = "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.",
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