In less than a decade the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) has moved to the center of most economic and organizational activities. As such, organizations have become what some scholars term ‘network firms’; organizations that coordinate in ICT networks, both in regards to production, cooperation and communication. Following, we have witnessed a growing number of calls for attention to the effects of new ICT’s on the concept of strategic management and strategizing. Despite the numerous calls, few have answered. In this article we aim at providing a possible response beginning with an analysis of the changing organizational landscape created by new ICT’s like Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, iPods, smart phones and Wi-Fi. Based on five netno- and ethno-graphic investigations of the intertwinement of ICT’s and organizational work, we point to three features that have changed the scene: new ICT’s enable 1) mass collaboration and real-time cocreation, 2) visualization of work processes and data, and finally 3) create liquid boundaries between what is and what is not ‘the organization’. Based on these three features, and drawing on the recent behaviouralistic turn in strategy research, we then propose a way forward in the understanding of strategic management and strategizing as being located in-between the material and the social, and as such pointing to the importance of seeing new ICT’s as intertwined with strategy and management, and not just devices for dissemination and implementation. Finally, an analytical framework, and its implications for future research, is presented.
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The 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference. 2013