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Pulled in all directions: Open strategy participation as an attention contest

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Strategic Organization
Issue number3
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)709-720
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/07/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this article, we investigate a crucial factor in open strategy research: participation. By drawing on the attention-based view, we argue that the degree of participation in both analog and digital practices of open strategy is the result of “attention contests.” These attention contests arise as the attention structure of Open Strategy initiatives (as quasi-temporary organizations) and the attention structure of the main organization compete for actors’ limited attention. As these attention structures collide, four tensions emerge (process ambiguity, status transitions, time constraints, and identity shifts). We argue that the impact of these tensions is contingent on the type of Open Strategy practice; digital or analog forms of Open Strategy-making. Therefore, we offer a new theoretical understanding of why and how actors participate in Open Strategy initiatives. Based on this, we offer various mechanisms of how firms can facilitate meaningful participation in these different practices. This essay opens up promising avenues for future Open Strategy and participation research.