Navigating the Black Box: Generativity and Incongruences in Digital Innovation
Licentiate thesis, 2022

Digital technologies offer generative potential as they are malleable, dynamic and can be leveraged across a range of tasks. Prior studies have mainly focused on generativity as driver for recombinatorial innovation. However, not much attention has been paid to 1) how innovators develop cognitive frames in the face of seemingly unbound possibilities and 2) how heterogeneous actors resolve differences, or incongruences, in their cognitive frames.

Extant research provides only partial answers on how innovators navigate those challenges. Therefore, this thesis aims to generate new insight on how innovators balance generativity and incongruences in digital innovation. It is based on two empirical papers that draw upon a two-year, longitudinal single-case study of a distributed, heterogeneous innovation network engaged in leveraging digital technologies in the context of marine environment.

This thesis finds that embracing generativity increases the risk of clashes between incongruences amongst innovators. On the other hand, innovators leverage the generative potential of digital components to respond to incongruences by producing boundary objects or facilitating innovation trajectory shifts. Moreover, the appended papers illustrate how innovators may employ a non-linear innovation approach and loosely defined organizational structures to facilitate repeated shifts in their innovation trajectory. At the same time, this thesis finds that too many shifts create challenges in network coordination and maintaining a coherent strategic vision.

organizing vision




technological frames

digital innovation

innovation network

Brunnsparken; Zoom (Password: 151475)
Opponent: Elmira van den Broek, Asst. Prof., Handelshögskolan i Stockholm


Adrian Bumann

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

The challenges of knowledge combination in ML-based crowdsourcing - The ODF Killer shrimp challenge using ML and kaggle

Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences,; Vol. 2020-January(2021)p. 4930-4939

Paper in proceeding

Bumann, A., Sandberg, J. and Teigland, R. Organizing Vision Evolution in AI-based Innovation Networks

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Subject Categories

Business Administration

Information Science

Information Systemes, Social aspects



Brunnsparken; Zoom (Password: 151475)


Opponent: Elmira van den Broek, Asst. Prof., Handelshögskolan i Stockholm

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