Identity metamorphoses in digital disruption: A relational theory of identity

Jason SIMPSON

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Digital technologies have disrupted a variety of organizations; however, Information Systems research has yet to explore in-depth why this may be occurring or the implications of this process for those involved. In this paper we present an exemplary case of digital technology disruption in a newspaper company - an organization in the midst of an identity crisis. On the basis of ethnographic data, we explore the changes that resulted from the introduction of the digital medium, and how this has led to the evolution of the newspaper, as well as the metamorphosis of identities of the company, the company's practitioners, and the consumers of the company's content. Our findings suggest that shifts in the evolutionary trajectory of an organization can be traced to the rate and nature of identity metamorphoses among its key actors. Hence, in order to navigate and adapt to digital disruptions, we argue that an ongoing strategic renegotiation of the identities of all the actors involved is not only possible, but is required for an organization's survival. In doing so, we provide a relational theory of identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)344-363
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
    Volume25
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    Industry
    newspaper
    identity crisis
    organization
    Digital storage
    digital media
    systems research
    information system
    Information systems
    Trajectories

    Cite this

    @article{8490b7edfc6b45f3b3f851609fffa066,
    title = "Identity metamorphoses in digital disruption: A relational theory of identity",
    abstract = "Digital technologies have disrupted a variety of organizations; however, Information Systems research has yet to explore in-depth why this may be occurring or the implications of this process for those involved. In this paper we present an exemplary case of digital technology disruption in a newspaper company - an organization in the midst of an identity crisis. On the basis of ethnographic data, we explore the changes that resulted from the introduction of the digital medium, and how this has led to the evolution of the newspaper, as well as the metamorphosis of identities of the company, the company's practitioners, and the consumers of the company's content. Our findings suggest that shifts in the evolutionary trajectory of an organization can be traced to the rate and nature of identity metamorphoses among its key actors. Hence, in order to navigate and adapt to digital disruptions, we argue that an ongoing strategic renegotiation of the identities of all the actors involved is not only possible, but is required for an organization's survival. In doing so, we provide a relational theory of identity.",
    author = "Jason SIMPSON",
    year = "2016",
    doi = "10.1057/ejis.2015.19",
    language = "English",
    volume = "25",
    pages = "344--363",
    journal = "Journal of applied systems analysis",
    issn = "0960-085X",
    publisher = "Palgrave Macmillan",
    number = "4",

    }

    Identity metamorphoses in digital disruption: A relational theory of identity. / SIMPSON, Jason.

    In: European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2016, p. 344-363.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Identity metamorphoses in digital disruption: A relational theory of identity

    AU - SIMPSON, Jason

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - Digital technologies have disrupted a variety of organizations; however, Information Systems research has yet to explore in-depth why this may be occurring or the implications of this process for those involved. In this paper we present an exemplary case of digital technology disruption in a newspaper company - an organization in the midst of an identity crisis. On the basis of ethnographic data, we explore the changes that resulted from the introduction of the digital medium, and how this has led to the evolution of the newspaper, as well as the metamorphosis of identities of the company, the company's practitioners, and the consumers of the company's content. Our findings suggest that shifts in the evolutionary trajectory of an organization can be traced to the rate and nature of identity metamorphoses among its key actors. Hence, in order to navigate and adapt to digital disruptions, we argue that an ongoing strategic renegotiation of the identities of all the actors involved is not only possible, but is required for an organization's survival. In doing so, we provide a relational theory of identity.

    AB - Digital technologies have disrupted a variety of organizations; however, Information Systems research has yet to explore in-depth why this may be occurring or the implications of this process for those involved. In this paper we present an exemplary case of digital technology disruption in a newspaper company - an organization in the midst of an identity crisis. On the basis of ethnographic data, we explore the changes that resulted from the introduction of the digital medium, and how this has led to the evolution of the newspaper, as well as the metamorphosis of identities of the company, the company's practitioners, and the consumers of the company's content. Our findings suggest that shifts in the evolutionary trajectory of an organization can be traced to the rate and nature of identity metamorphoses among its key actors. Hence, in order to navigate and adapt to digital disruptions, we argue that an ongoing strategic renegotiation of the identities of all the actors involved is not only possible, but is required for an organization's survival. In doing so, we provide a relational theory of identity.

    U2 - 10.1057/ejis.2015.19

    DO - 10.1057/ejis.2015.19

    M3 - Article

    VL - 25

    SP - 344

    EP - 363

    JO - Journal of applied systems analysis

    JF - Journal of applied systems analysis

    SN - 0960-085X

    IS - 4

    ER -