The Information systems (IS) literature explains how specific digital characteristics enable structural generativity, i.e. “a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through contributions from broad and varied audiences” (Zittrain, 2008: p.70). This resonates well with innovation literature, which emphasizes the combinatorial aspect of innovation and the value of open and distributed innovation. However, the connection between generative affordance and desired outcomes in the form digital innovation is largely unexplored. In response to this research gap, this study takes a human agency perspective for analysing how actors perceive and act upon the generative affordance, how the actions are constrained, and how the actions and constraints relate to the concepts of generativity and digital innovation. In order to examine those issues, a qualitative embedded case study in the context of Finnish public administration is being completed. Preliminary findings indicate that generative digital innovation depends on individuals, who need to have ability and motivation to explore and implement new approaches, and sufficient coordination and support at the ecosystem level, but is con-strained by current governance practices.

First Page


Last Page