How does affordance of technology impact relationships between technologies, humans and their environments? Dana Lunberry, PhD, Information Systems and Innovations, London School of Economics asked as part of her research, supported by RADMA, we asked her about her work.
What support did you get from RADMA and how did it help you?
RADMA generously provided financial support toward my tuition and maintenance during the third year of my PhD programme at LSE. The support was incredibly helpful to me and my family as it covered a significant proportion of our expenses for the year.
Please can you outline the topic of your research at the time you received the RADMA support?
The research is titled “Technological Affordances and ICT Innovation for Low-Income Markets.” This study will provide an in-depth empirically-grounded examination of the relationship between technological affordances and ICT innovations for low-income markets.
The primary research question is the following: How do technological affordances shape ICT innovations for low-income markets? In answering this question, the key objective of this research is to provide critical insights into affordance theory by offering new theorisation about the utility of technological affordances for understanding and optimising ICT innovation for low-income markets.
In particular, this research will examine the relationship between technological affordances and IT-associated organisational change in the context of ICT innovation which takes on a market-based approach. Such insights will provide significant contributions to practice as well as scholarship.
This study is significant because an affordance lens reveals how the relationships between technologies, humans and their environments are generating effects within this context of low-income markets and in relation to market-based approaches to ICT innovation more broadly. This study therefore sheds light on some of the most important and conceptually significant features of the conditions of ICT innovation that would not have been possible through other theories.
To date, the research design and preliminary findings have been presented at three conferences and three papers are currently under development.
What was the most interesting thing that you learnt while working in research?
The research brought to the foreground various dynamics of digital innovation, and how digital innovation is associated with a new organising logic for innovation. Our analysis revealed one set of such logics by focusing on the reactions of innovation managers to environmental forces including user and service constraints. These findings relate to the concept noted by various scholars that the unique properties of digital technologies have implications for the design and management of digital innovations.
If someone wanted to learn more about this subject what would you recommend they read?
Highly relevant is the literature focused on innovating with digital technologies such as:
- Ciriello, R. F., Richter, A. and Schwabe, G. (2018) ‘Digital Innovation’, Business & Information Systems Engineering, 60(6), pp. 563–569. doi: 10.1007/s12599-018-0559-8.
- Henfridsson, O., Mathiassen, L. and Svahn, F. (2014) ‘Managing technological change in the digital age: The role of architectural frames’, Journal of Information Technology. Nature Publishing Group, 29(1), pp. 27–43. doi: 10.1057/jit.2013.30.
- Nylén, D. and Holmström, J. (2015) ‘Digital innovation strategy: A framework for diagnosing and improving digital product and service innovation’, Business Horizons, 58(1), pp. 57–67. doi: 10.1016/j.bushor.2014.09.001.
- Yoo, Y. et al. (2010) ‘The Next Wave of Digital Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges: A Report on the Research Workshop “Digital Challenges in Innovation Research”’, Ssrn, pp. 1–37. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1622170.
- Yoo, Y. et al. (2012) ‘Organizing for Innovation in the Digitized World’, Organization Science, 23(5), pp. 1398–1408. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1120.0771.
What are you doing now and does this build on your knowledge of R&D Management?
I am soon to complete the third year of my PhD study which was a year focused on data collection. At present, the data analysis is underway. My goal is to produce three papers that contribute to the literature on R&D Management and adjacent fields. (Dana was successful in being awarded a PhD in July 2021)
What do you think RADMA offers the research community?
RADMA offers a supportive network comprised of scholars, practitioners, and students who facilitate knowledge production and knowledge sharing. This community generates relevant research and pushes forward a research agenda that is highly applicable to the real word.