The Management Department
Department Seminar Series
NYU’S TANDON ENGINEERING SCHOOL
Thursday, October 11th 2018
Room LE CLUB at 10:00 am (4.00 p.m in Singapore)
Theme: “Organizing for Open Social Innovation: The Case of OpenIDEO”
Abstract: With increasing large-scale complex social issues such as poverty, aging, and education facing our world, cross-sector collaborations, in particular those involving the general public, have been recognized as crucial to the generation of innovative solutions. Yet, the success of such collaborations is elusive. Drawing on a 40-month ethnographic study of OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform for social innovation, I examine how an organization created a diverse global community and invited its members through sponsored challenges – to collaboratively generate ideas for tackling complex social issues. Through inductive analysis, I identify three practices by which the OpenIDEO team developed a participatory platform for open social innovation: constructing a collaborative community, temporally structuring interactions, and providing a space for collaborative idea generation. I show how these organizing practices are crucial to successfully engage individuals from multiple backgrounds across the globe to collaboratively problem-solve complex social issues. My findings suggest that open social innovation might be a productive form of collaborative organizing for organizations aiming to experiment with new forms of organizational responses to grand challenges. This work has implications for our understanding of open social innovation, collaborative spaces for idea generation and the practices supporting the engagement of diverse communities in tackling complex social issues.