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Digitally induced industry paradoxes: disruptive innovations of taxiwork and music streaming beyond organizational boundaries

Tilson, David, Sørensen, Carsten ORCID: 0000-0002-2002-9383 and Lyytinen, Kalle J. (2021) Digitally induced industry paradoxes: disruptive innovations of taxiwork and music streaming beyond organizational boundaries. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 73a. 171 - 192. ISSN 0733-558X

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Identification Number: 10.1108/S0733-558X2021000073a013


The exponential growth of digital technologies and their increased importance in both organizational and everyday life poses new challenges to paradox research within management studies. Management scholars taking a paradoxical lens have predominantly focused on social paradoxes within the confines of the organization. Technological change has often been treated as an exogenous force bringing previously latent tensions to the fore. Such newly salient paradoxes are viewed as instigating managerial sensemaking and exploration of strategic responses that will re-establish equilibrium. Our investigation of how digital innovations disrupted London taxiwork and global music distribution shows something different. The paradoxical tensions raised by emerging digital technologies inevitably play out at industry and societal levels. Concomitant changes in boundaries, categories, and potentials for action that shape and channel ongoing industry transformation call for organizational responses and adaptation. Critically, such tensions must be interpreted within the context of industry arrangements absent a centrally controlling actor. Rather than episodes of exogenous change, the nature of the digital, along with interactions across multiple sources of agency, continually surface complex dynamic and systemic tensions within and across industries. Our findings highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for the inter-relatedness and mutual dependence of the social and technical elements of change. As digital innovation expands and starts to impact all aspects of human experience it is critical for management scholars to reflect how the paradoxical perspective can be expanded to better understand these contemporary large-scale changes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2020 09:12
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 22:36

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