AOM’s Big Data and Digital Economy Conference

As digital technology and big data continue to change the way we do business, CoDE was honoured to host the Academy of Management (AOM) conference on ‘Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy‘ at the Surrey Business School, University of Surrey. Held 18 – 20 April 2018, the conference sponsors included Google Cloud Platform, Tabelau, The MIT Press and SAGE Ocean. The Academy of Management is the largest global association for management and organisation research. It publishes six top-rated journals and has 20,000 members across 120 countries.

AOM Big Data Conference at Surrey CoDE

Photo via @AnnabelleGawer

The conference featured a comprehensive programme of presentations, discussion panels and workshops, featuring experts within their fields. The conference keynote speakers included Paul Y Mang, Senior Advisor at Aon; Cassie Kozyrkiv, Chief Decision Intelligence Engineer at Google and Nuria Oliver, Director of Research in Data Science at Vodafone. A gala dinner at the beautiful Guildford Cathedral, was also part of the program, providing an excellent socialising opportunity to all the delegates. Over 350 delegates attended the conference, representing over 30 countries.

To represent CoDE, members of Surrey CoDE were among those that presented at the conference. The summary of presentations or discussions where CoDE members were involved in are:

Digital Transformation in Practice: Lessons from Industry

Alan Brown, CoDE – University of Surrey

Digital transformation initiatives are currently sweeping across all business sectors promising to revolutionize traditional business models, optimize the design and delivery of new goods and services, manage production systems more efficiently, redesign working practices and management principles, and much more. Aside from the technical challenges being addressed, digital transformation has also enabled a more fundamental management shift to occur. In practice, organizations are forced to shift perspective away from the specific technologies inherent in a digital world and towards the principles on which digitally-enabled organizations operate. This panel will discuss the challenges of digital transformation being experienced in industry today, describe some of the practical approaches being taken, and outline some of the key challenges that will shape the future.

The Governance of Third Party Innovation in Open Government Data Platforms: Evidence from Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Montevideo

Carla Bonina, CoDE – University of Surrey | Ben Eaton, CoDE – University of Surrey

Open government data initiatives are an emergent platform research topic. There is little understanding how these platforms are governed for service innovation, where the cultivation of an installed base of heterogeneous innovators is thought of as important for success. Open government data platforms differ from commercial platforms, as they enable a common good and provide data rather than functionality. We present research in progress that investigates how third party service innovation is cultivated in this alternative setting. We employ a comparative case study of open government data platforms in three Latin American cities, and draw upon the theory of boundary resources. Our initial findings and expected contributions extend the theoretical understanding of platform innovation governance and have implications on government policy concerning open data initiatives.

Redefining Digital Engagements to Create Social Value

Itziar Castello, CoDE – University of Surrey | Carla Bonina, CoDE – University of Surrey | Cristina Alaimo, CoDE – University of Surrey | Alan Brown, CoDE – University of Surrey | Ben Eaton, CoDE – University of Surrey | Roger Maull, CoDE – University of Surrey | David Plans, CoDE – University of Surrey
Social Value in Data at AOM Coference Surrey CoDE

Photo via @SurreyCoDE

In contemporary organizations digital engagements are ubiquitous, and data-driven forms of engagements are increasingly involving monitoring, automating organization processes but also better understanding social needs. Information systems create hyper-real representations of the stakeholders and organization processes. They transform the relations between the stakeholders and, as a result, the organizational forms and its outcomes. In this symposium, we are interested in how these digital engagements can create new forms of social value, we ask two questions: First, how digitalization is transforming organizations and its stakeholder engagements? Second, how the digital engagements can increase the social impact of organizations?

Digital Platforms and Ecosystem Governance: Is Dominance Unavoidable?

Annabelle Gawer, CoDE – University of Surrey | Michael G. Jacobides, London Business School | Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari, Judge Business School | Teppo Felin, Said Business School, University of Oxford | Ola Henfridsson, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick | Carsten Sorensen, London School of Economics

Digital platform firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Uber are an increasingly pervasive organizational form in the digital economy, and are actively disrupting industries. The increasing perception of platforms unchecked dominance is attracting the attention of scholars and regulators. This Symposium brings together a panel of distinguished experts from distinct disciplines (strategy, innovation, information systems) to shed light on the following questions: (1) Do digital platforms fuelled by network effects always lead to winner-take-all outcomes? (2) To which extent can ecosystem dominance by digital platform leaders be moderated by external market forces, or by platform leaders attempt to self-regulate? (3) What kinds of governance mechanisms will allow societies to benefit from the innovations that digital platforms generate while curbing their potential abuse of dominance?

The Emergence of Data-based Ecosystems: The Case of Programmatic Advertising

Cristina Alaimo, CoDE – University of SurreyAnnabelle Gawer, CoDE – University of Surrey | Cosima Sessa-Sforza, London School of Economics

Platform-based ecosystems have recently attracted considerable scholarly attention. This research aims to understand the extent to which big data contributes to the emergence of specific types of ecosystem. Our empirical setting is programmatic advertising, a large scale distributed platform ecosystem based on the real-time automated method of buying and selling advertisements. We focus on identifying the processes of ecosystem emergence. Our initial evidence suggests that technological and organizational protocols and the highly-standardized language sustaining real-time bidding play an important role in shaping ecosystem emergence and configuration. As we continue to analyse this case, we aim to investigate the set of focal firms strategic responses, and assess the extent to which using and creating big data offers distinct modes of value creation than non-big-data business models.

When Digital Becomes the Grand Vision: Digitalization through Accommodative Engagements

Itziar Castello, CoDE – University of Surrey | Michael Etter, Cass Business School | Peter Winkler, FH Wien

We examine the implementation of a new digital strategy at the head-quarter of a multinational corporation. We analyze the contradictions between aspirational grand visions and local agendas which are reinforced in digital environments. We show how these contradictions are partially transcended through accommodative engagements. Accommodative engagements work through the mechanisms of situated exploration, invitational rhetoric and translation as well as the negotiation of joint accounts. We extend to the literature of organizing digitalization by first providing a communicative view on strategic processes and its paradoxes. Through this view, we describe some rhetoric mechanisms that allow to transcend paradoxical situations in strategy making. We show the performative power of rhetorical engagements and its capacity to promote organizational commitment.

The Formation of lasting Stigma in the fleeting Context of Twitter

Laura Illia, IE University | Nuccio Ludovico | Marco Caserta | Michael Etter, Cass Business School | Itziar Castello, CoDE – University of Surrey

Big data allow new ways of studying social phenomena by analyzing online interactions between individuals at large scale. With this article we explore the socio-political process of stigmatization of four Italian banks in social media following a series of crisis events. With a longitudinal analysis of over 23,528 tweets, we study how a lasting stigma is created in a context where interactions between stakeholders are of fleeting nature. Our study shows how discrediting labels around events stabilize and so create a stigma – when multiple stakeholders express their negative judgement through affective cross-category tags that create a mental union. Our study contributes to the so far understudied process of stigmatization with particular focus on explaining the collective labeling process in the online public sphere.

Designing a Market: the Technological Underpinnings of Non-spontaneous Orders

Cristina Alaimo, CoDE – University of Surrey | Ioanna Constantiou, Copenhagen Business School | Jannis Kallinikos, London School of Economics

In this paper, we describe digital platforms as instances of market design. Despite the critical role of digital technologies in transforming markets and organizations, they are still viewed as means of improving organizational capabilities and reducing market frictions, thus increasing efficiency. Our approach complements existing studies by taking into account the underlying data processes and the technologies by which digital platforms are supported and extends more recent theory that seeks to understand markets as designed artefacts. Specifically, we focus on how the dynamic personalization of pricing and services enables digital platforms to design and operate as a new kind of digital marketplace.

The Future of Digital Transformation in Urban Environments

Lampros Stergioulas, University of Surrey | Masoud Fakhimi, University of Surrey | Joseph Cullen, Tavistock Institute, DESIGNSCAPES project | Navoni Mustafee, University of Exeter | Munir Abbasi, CoDE – University of Surrey | Alexandra Penn, University of Surrey

This panel aims to bring together lead academics and practitioners in the digital transformations in urban environment to discuss ideas and future research for facilitating a better uptake, further enhancement and up scaling of digital innovation to support the growth of sustainable (e.g. circular) economies in urban environments, exploring and fostering linkages between big data, digital innovation, strategy and practice. During the session, the panellists will discuss a range of expert topics focusing on: Transforming urban environments (Data-driven innovation and analytics, Innovation generation in urban environment, Citys Innovation Generation Capacity, Smart Cities, opportunities and challenges, Innovation processes in cities, design enabled innovation strategy, import replacement), Business model innovation, and New forms of economy (i.e. digital economy, circular economy, urban economies, bio-economy).

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About the Author : Muhammad Ali

Impact Manager for the University of Surrey's Centre for the Digital Economy. His interest lies in digital marketing, analytics and entrepreneurship. He is also an amateur photographer. He tweets @iAliIshaq