Academy of Management Specialized Conference
Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy
18-20 April 2018
Annabelle Gawer, University of Surrey
Christopher L. Tucci, EPFL
In an increasingly digital economy, opportunities dazzle, threats loom large, and management challenges abound. Pervasively connected and powered by digital technologies, to which extent will modern organizations require or invent new forms of management?
Big Data, digital businesses, platforms, innovation ecosystems, but also algorithmic organization, network effects, winner-take-all: far from being simply a purely technological phenomenon, digitization affects individuals, organizations, industries, markets, and regions. It alters individual and team behaviors, practices, organizational processes, industry dynamics, and influences outcomes at several levels of analysis. The digital phenomenon is multifaceted and affects how we work and how we organize. It changes the way organizations compete and innovate. It threatens long-lasting business models, and opens up new ways of creating and capturing value. As such, it is not only clearly relevant for management practitioners, but also centrally important for management scholars.
The Conference program is articulated around six track themes, which have been co-developed by AOM Divisions & Interest Groups. Each theme is meant to be of interest and relevance to more than one Division, in line with the cross-disciplinary ethos of the Conference.
Conference Track Themes
TRACK 1: THE DIGITAL ORGANIZATION AND DIGITAL ORGANIZING
Søren H. Jensen, Copenhagen Business School
What is a digital organization and how do we define it? What is the smallest unit that denotes a digital as opposed to an analog organization? Is the distinction simply a management choice? How do you lead and manage the digital organization? How do you consult in the digital organization? What is the role of people? Is this a switch from the role as rulers of machines and technologies to being subordinate to the technologies? What is the relationship between big data and the digital organization? Can an organization be described through an algorithm?
TRACK 2: PLATFORMS, ECOSYSTEMS, COMPUTATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE, AND BIG DATA
Sabine Brunswicker, Purdue University
How do digital platform strategies impact the direction and the intensity of industry innovation? How do platform strategies affect competitive outcomes? How do multi-sided markets and network effects affect competition and innovation? How do innovation and competition interact in platform-based ecosystems? How do digital ecosystems differ from traditional supply-chains, or other networks of organizations? Other welcome topics include crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and design of the platform architecture (and not just technical design but also design of information and big data shared with platform participants), computational social science that deal with big data and individuals in crowds and communities, AI and decision making in collective environments, the role of big data visualization and decision making.
TRACK 3: THE FUTURE OF MANAGING PEOPLE, WORK, AND WELL-BEING IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Sandra Fisher, Clarkson University; Janet Marler, University at Albany – SUNY
The implications of digitalization/Big Data on the nature, design, and future of managing people in organizations, work, careers, organizational and individual well-being, and employment relations. How does digitalization influence the way in which work and the management of people is designed, organized and implemented? How does it influence decision-making, leadership, and the way people work together? How are these affecting employment relations, careers, and individual well-being? From the Big Data perspective, how is Big Data being used in the management of people in organizations? What factors are associated with the decision to deploy Big Data? What are the outcomes of the use of Big Data in the management of people in organizations? What are the ethical issues related to the use of Big Data in the employment relationship, and how are researchers and practitioners addressing those issues?
TRACK 4: DATA GOVERNANCE & DATA MARKETS
Aija Leiponen, Cornell University
With nonexistent intellectual property rights and the legal and regulatory frameworks in flux, data commercialization is currently governed contractually and via organizational arrangements. As with other digital commodities, data business models tend to be complex and non-obvious. How can new or evolving business models facilitate data commercialization? When is data licensing feasible and when does data need to be embedded in other digital services? How do firms compete with data, i.e. can data provide differentiation in complex digital service arrangements? Will advances in computer science scale and enable open data markets or is data governance in the Internet of Things confined to limited data pools or data-sharing consortia? How will such pools or consortia be structured to enable networked data?
TRACK 5: CULTURE AND BIG DATA IN DIGITAL HUMANITIES
Candace Jones, University of Edinburgh
Increasingly, Humanities are using big data to understand narratives and plots, asking questions such as what makes a work successful? Digital Humanities use such methods as algorithmic analysis of text / videos, advanced visualization techniques, 3-D mapping of texts, and digitization of non-English and non-Latin-alphabet sources. This track welcomes contributions at the intersection of big data and humanities as well as the use of Digital Humanities tools to analyze business and management content, communications, and behavior. It tackles such questions as what new insights can be gained from corporate discourse analysis? How do companies’ behaviors as manifested in a broader range of communications differ from official press / financial disclosure releases? What new insights can be gained from better visualization of for example, board interlocks, strategic alliances, or patent co-citations?
TRACK 6: GOVERNING THE CORPORATION IN THE AGE OF BIG DATA
Karen Schnatterly, University of Missouri
Big data can connect firms more closely with all stakeholders, but how can companies use it? A digital platform can facilitate shareholders and other stakeholders communicating with directors and the firm—but do directors and the firm want this? Does this present an improvement in governance? In transparency? Will this increase social movements’ influence on the corporation? Will this allow stakeholders to coordinate action with respect to the corporation more easily and successfully? To the extent that big data increases transparency and communication, there can be benefits. There can also be a dark side. Some firms and stakeholders are already exploring this area. What can we learn from them?