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Being Accountable in Distributed Innovation Work

Magnus Bergquist
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Jan Ljungberg
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Bertil Rolandsson
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

As a result of various driving forces, R&D and innovation processes are increasingly opened up for external influences and resources. This has lead to a changing nature of innovation work to become more distributed, networked and fragmented. In companies, a consequence of this is that hierarchically defined directives are transformed to lateral agreements. For the employee, a consequence of this is that they are increasingly expected to justify the value of distributed innovation practices in relation to both their firm and external contributors of innovation, and by doing so they involve themselves in a process were accountability is horizontally redistributed. In order to analyze this process, we use a case of open source software development, were developers from eleven firms, using open source in their professional practice, are interviewed. We show how distributed innovation processes leave the professional developer with the responsibility to select and assure that external resources becomes advantageous to their work, and how they use different types of justification to account for the value of this appropriation. We identify how accountability is formed by multiple logics, potentially leading to tensions between different logic of worth.

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Reference:Bergquist, M., Ljungberg, J., Rolandsson, B. (2012). "Being Accountable in Distributed Innovation Work," Proceedings > Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 12(14). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/12-14
Keywords:distributed innovation, open source, logic of justification, accountability
Item Type:Article - Volume 12 Article 14 (2012)
Email: Magnus Bergquist (magnus.bergquist@gu.se )
Jan Ljungberg (ljungbej@ituniv.se)
Bertil Rolandsson (bertil.rolandsson@gu.se)

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