Affiliated Organization

Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop


Analyzing how collective action leading to mass innovation emerges against the backdrop of an increasingly connected world, we introduce the concept of collective generativity as a new theoretical lens for understanding the ability of distributed communities to engage collectively in bottom-up processes of creation and innovation. Applying this lens allows us to understand how collective generativity emerges and evolves and how to design systems and spaces that evoke and enhance this communal generative capacity. In this paper, we explore the underpinnings of collective generativity: connectivity, distributed cognition, collective action and mass innovation. Jointly, these theoretical insights are used to derive a set of design principles for the development of co-generative systems, which are conducive to mass collective action and innovation. Finally, we demonstrate our thesis with an illustrative vignette of collective generativity and conclude with several implications for future research.