"The institutionalization of an envisioned future: Sensemaking and field formation in the case of ?Industrie 4.0? in Germany"
, in Andreas Lösch, Armin Grunwald, Martin Meister, Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer: Socio-technical futures shaping the present: Empirical examples and analytical challenges, Serie Technikzukünfte, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft / Futures of Technology, Science and Society, Springer VS, Wiesbaden, Seite(n) 111-138, 2019, ISBN: 978-3-658-27154-1
The institutionalization of an envisioned future: Sensemaking and field formation in the case of ?Industrie 4.0? in Germany
Sprache des Titels:
Socio-technical futures shaping the present: Empirical examples and analytical challenges
Abstract (von Springer VS): Technology-based, envisioned futures have a significant influence on the dynamics of technological development and, as a consequence, on societies. If such envisioned futures are successful, they contribute to the formation of issue-based fields with the envisioned future at its core. Within such a field, organizations orient and coordinate their activities in pursuit of the envisioned future. This article uses the example of ?Industrie 4.0? in Germany to analyze why, how and under what circumstances such imagined futures tend to emerge, diffuse and stabilize. In particular, it highlights the early phases of envisioned technological futures before they are widely known and accepted. The paper brings together concepts from organization studies (OS) as well as from science and technology studies (STS), the most prominent of which being ?expectations in technological developments? (van Lente 2000; van Lente and Rip 1998a). For a more detailed understanding of an envisioned future?s impact on the present, I argue that it is essential to analyze the role and the activities of organizations and the formation of organizational fields in such processes. I show how Weick?s concept of sensemaking and the related ideas of enactment and sensegiving can contribute to this idea of field formation. This combination enables a better understanding of the role of organizations, especially in the early phase of such processes. I argue that one main virtue of an envisioned future, when successful, is its ability to provide orientation to a multitude of different organizations.
Sprache der Kurzfassung:
Technikzukünfte, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft / Futures of Technology, Science and Society