Abstract

Discourses on openness permeate Information Systems (IS) literature. Open source, innovation, design, and data, among others, have aroused IS scholars interest during recent years. However, in IS research less attention has been paid to practical realities and challenges associated with openness. IS design, furthermore, has become highly distributed and involving multiple participants and perspectives that each may have a different standpoint to openness, the consequences of which so far have not been examined in the literature. This study, by relying on nexus analysis as a sensitizing device, address these limitations and examines multiparty IS design as social action, for the under-standing of which nexus analytic concepts of discourses in place, historical body and interaction order are essential. The analysis identifies a variety of views and challenges involved with openness in multiparty IS design. Despite openness being postulated as a driving force of the design process, it was realized in a limited sense. The participants’ historical bodies, especially in the sense of their disciplinary background, and the interaction orders they had mutually established delimited openness in this design project. Variety and challenges involved with openness in multiparty design are discussed and implications for IS research and practice are considered.

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