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Paper info: Exploring the role of boundary objects in digitalized contexts


Exploring the role of boundary objects in digitalized contexts


Daniela Corsaro,
Chiara Cantu
Catholic University
Chiara Cantu and Alessandra Tzannis

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 33rd IMP-conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017.


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Digitalization is one of the most important phenomena of our era, impacting not only on consumer companies but increasingly on business-to-business companies too. The effects of digitalization are manifold: growing number of touch points among interacting actors, greater information fluidity, and contents dematerialization, among others. All these elements are generating higher complexity, which, in turn, requires coordination. The starting consideration of this study assumes that the importance of boundary objects the ones that communicate and coordinate the perspectives of various constituency increases in a digitalized environment. By analysing three case studies -, Buzzdetector and Nearit - the paper identifies the functions of boundary objects in digitalized business relationships: promoting socialization and meanings coordination; simplify complexity; humanizing objects; storytelling; boost creativity; engage in a broader experience; promote flexibility and contextualization.