The aim of this article was to explore the relationship between human actors and technology in the context of a social media platform, developed by a leading Italian firm in the food industry, and created to keep in contact with its customers, while gathering innovative ideas from them.In order to address these issues, we adopt a theoretical approach that is deeply rooted in Pickering's "mangle" theory, and Jones' subsequent metaphor of "double dance of agency" i.e. human and material agencies. A longitudinal case study has been developed with two rounds of interviews with marketing and R&D managers. A total of 8 recorded interviews, for 22. h overall.We examined conditions in the ongoing functioning of the platform, and considered how the website's dynamic materiality configures and reconfigures the practices and possibilities of different modes of engagement by multiple users (i.e. firm employees and customers) and vice versa. Specifically, dealing with the case of a social media platform developed by a firm to gain clearly defined organizational ends, the entanglement is considered to be double. One entanglement is between the human agency of customers and the material agency of the social media platform. The other is between the human agency of the firm and the material agency of the social media platform, including all actions that human agents (i.e. firm employees) undertake in seeking to channel material agency and shape actions of other human agents, i.e. customers.

The Firm, the Platform and the Customer: a "Double Mangle" Interpretation of Social Media for Innovation

MARTINI, ANTONELLA;
2013

Abstract

The aim of this article was to explore the relationship between human actors and technology in the context of a social media platform, developed by a leading Italian firm in the food industry, and created to keep in contact with its customers, while gathering innovative ideas from them.In order to address these issues, we adopt a theoretical approach that is deeply rooted in Pickering's "mangle" theory, and Jones' subsequent metaphor of "double dance of agency" i.e. human and material agencies. A longitudinal case study has been developed with two rounds of interviews with marketing and R&D managers. A total of 8 recorded interviews, for 22. h overall.We examined conditions in the ongoing functioning of the platform, and considered how the website's dynamic materiality configures and reconfigures the practices and possibilities of different modes of engagement by multiple users (i.e. firm employees and customers) and vice versa. Specifically, dealing with the case of a social media platform developed by a firm to gain clearly defined organizational ends, the entanglement is considered to be double. One entanglement is between the human agency of customers and the material agency of the social media platform. The other is between the human agency of the firm and the material agency of the social media platform, including all actions that human agents (i.e. firm employees) undertake in seeking to channel material agency and shape actions of other human agents, i.e. customers.
Martini, Antonella; Massa, S; Testa, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/288544
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