Organizing for Innovation in the Digitized World
(2012) Organization Science 23(5):1398-1408
12 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2012
Our era is one of increasingly pervasive digital technologies, which penetrate deeply into the very core of the products, services, and operations of many organizations and radically change the nature of product and service innovations. The fundamental properties of digital technology are reprogrammability and data homogenization. Together, they provide an environment of open and flexible affordances that are used in creating innovations characterized by convergence and generativity. An analysis of convergence and generativity observed in innovations with pervasive digital technologies reveals three traits: (1) the importance of digital technology platforms, (2) the emergence of distributed innovations, and (3) the prevalence of combinatorial innovation. Each of the six articles in this special issue relates to one or more of these three traits. In this essay, we explore the organizational research implications of these three digital innovation traits and identify research opportunities for organization science scholars. Examples from the articles in this special issue on organizing for innovation in the digitized world are used to demonstrate the kind of organizational scholarship that can faithfully reflect and inform innovation in a world of pervasive digital technologies.
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