The Sustainable Transformation Management Lab is a working title. Thomas Gegenhuber launched the professorship for managing socio-technical transitions on September 1, 2021.
We understand technologies as the material or immaterial artifacts at the heart of many human activities, such as production, service delivery, and communication. Technologies are embedded in social systems - norms, values, beliefs, and interests shape how we create and make use of them. The professorship of socio-technical transitions explores transformations (i.e., change) associated with technologies against the backdrop of the UN Sustainability Development Goals.
What do we work on?
Situating technology as interwoven in social affairs, we focus on two areas of socio-technical transitions:
We research sustainable transitions, which is inquiring into the processes of organizing and managing change. Although we know that our society faces several problems, we also have many (technology-enabled) solutions at our disposal. Why is it so hard to change? Current rules of the game lead to resistance towards change. How to overcome this resistance? For example, we explore how various societal sectors (public administrations, civil society, and private sector) engage in open social innovation to tackle societal problems collaboratively. Given the urgency and complexity of grand challenges, the premise is that we need to find ways to work on solutions together.
We study digital transitions because digital technologies increasingly permeate all areas of social and economic life. Therefore, we ask how actors make use, leverage, and inhabit digital technologies? To answer these questions, we study new organizational forms (e.g., digital platforms), digitally-enabled entrepreneurship (e.g., start-ups leveraging crowdfunding), strategy-making (e.g., using a company’s blog to interact with external stakeholders) or innovation (e.g., companies opening up their innovation process to harness ideas from external stakeholders).
How do we work?
We believe in the fruitful synergies of research, teaching, and engaged scholarship. We publish our research in international journals and create an environment where our students excel. We proactively engage with stakeholders (e.g., companies, NGOs, foundations, think tanks, governments) who make transitions happen. We also take part in public conversations to make sense of and shape the transitions we face in everyday life.
Where are we located?
Our headquarters are in the Open Innovation Center (OIC) of the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT). The LIT and OIC brings people together from research and practice - an interdisciplinary melting pot - which is precisely the environment that speaks to the spirit of our work.
LIT Sustainable Transformation Management Lab
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Altenberger Straße 69
Together with Danielle Logue (Associate professor at the University of Technology Sydney in innovation, entrepreneurship, and management) and C.R. Hinings (Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Senior Research Mentor at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Fellow of Cambridge Digital innovation and Honorary Research Fellow at the Judge School of Business, University of Cambridge), and Michael Barrett (Professor of Information Systems and Innovation Studies at the Judge Business School in Cambridge), Prof. Thomas Gegenhuber edited a Volume for Research in the Sociology of Organizations. The editors asked what kind of rethinking of institutional processes is needed in relation to digital transformation. Based on this, they established a forum to enrich and advance institutional theoretical approaches to understanding digital transformation.
The introduction is temporarily freely available.
For the entire volume see: Digital Transformation and Institutional Theory
On September 8, 2022, Professor Thomas Gegenuber and Russian peace activist and JKU bachelor artificial intelligence student Daria Kuklina held a workshop on the topic "Organizing for change in a totalitarian institutional context" for 20 festival students from around the world at the JKU / ARS Electronica Festival University.
Once again, Thomas Gegenhuber served as a member of this year’s PRIX Ars Electronica jury in the category of “Digital Communities”.
Thomas Gegenhuber researches together with Johanna Mair (Hertie School) Open Social Innovation. Together with Ann Laure Fayard and Paolo V. Leona, they formed the Research Group on Open Social Innovation (ROSI). Thomas Gegenhuber had the pleasure to co-chair the second meeting of the ROSI group in June. Prof. Hila Lisfitz-Assaf (Warwick Business School and Harvard University), Alberto Bertello (University of Turin), and Thomas Gegenhuber (JKU Linz/Leuphana University Lüneburg) started the meeting with impulse presentations on their current research project on Open Social Innovation. The three scholars gave insights into the questions they are currently investigating and the potential of interrogating the emergent field. Afterward, a lively discussion among the fifteen scholars from universities all over the globe emerged concerning the future avenues for research and ways to investigate Open Social Innovation empirically and theoretically.