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Developing a Relational View of the Organizing Role of Objects: A study of the innovation process in computer games

Scarbrough, H., Panourgias, N.S. and Nandhakumar, J. (2015). Developing a Relational View of the Organizing Role of Objects: A study of the innovation process in computer games. Organization Studies, 36(2), pp. 197-220. doi: 10.1177/0170840614557213

Abstract

Innovation processes create distinctive challenges for coordination. Objects are seen as supporting coordination in such settings by enabling the emergent action needed to deal with a dynamic and uncertain process. Thus, previous work has highlighted the role of different types of objects in coordinating the collaborative tasks undertaken by expert groups, either by motivating the creation of new knowledge or through the translation of understanding. Through an empirical study of innovation processes in the computer games sector, our paper adds to this previous work by finding that the relations between objects, and not the objects alone, help to orchestrate multiple collaborative tasks towards a final outcome within temporal and resource constraints. The relational view which emerges from this study shows how such a ‘system of objects’ is able to stabilize coordination of the process while preserving the emergence and autonomy of games developer practices needed to achieve innovation.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: boundary object, coordination, expertise, innovation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Cass Business School > Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/6759
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