Department of Management

Theorizing affordance actualization in digital innovation from a sociotechnical perspective. The case of the video game industry

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Digital technology provides opportunities for new product development and innovation through affordances. However, in digital innovation, human actors are constrained by the design of technology and its interaction with different aspects of the socio-technical context. In this article, we investigate the relationship between digital technology and developers in a video game development company and its role in supporting and hindering digital innovation. We build on theory of affordances and constraints in answering the research question: How does the actualization of affordances in video game development influence the innovation process and outcome? Based on empirical analysis, we identify four affordances: Tool development, prototyping, user testing, and patching. We theorize affordance actualization and distinguish between innovation outcome and process innovation affordances. Furthermore, we theorize the dependencies between human actors, the organization, and technology in the affordance actualization process and mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Information Systems
Pages (from-to)147-180
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Affordance actualization, Digital innovation, Game development, Socio-technical

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