Networks of innovation: the sociotechnical assemblage of tabletop computing

Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi, Steve Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We theorize on the heterogonous network of people, visions, concepts, technological artifacts, and organizations that come together to enable product innovation. Drawing on the conceptual framing and mechanisms of actor-network theory (ANT), we focus on the relationships among human and non-human actors and their roles to enact new products. We do this to contribute both evidence and theory regarding the concept of a sociotechnical assemblage that serves as the innovation network. Advancing a sociotechnical conceptualization of innovation focuses attention on the contributions of, and linkages among, different types of actors; individuals and organizations, visions and concepts, and technological artifacts and prototypes together create a means for innovation to occur. The empirical basis for this theorizing comes from a detailed study of the community of research scientists, faculty, and graduate students; institutions such as research labs, funding sources, and product companies who were (and mostly still are) involved in tabletop computing. Analysis highlights the centrality of visions, concepts and technological artifacts in the innovation network. We also find that formal organizations play important, but often unrealized, roles in supporting innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100001
JournalResearch Policy: X
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Actor-network theory
  • Innovation network
  • Sociotechnical assemblage
  • Tabletop computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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