Caught in digitalization

How automation enables and constrains alternativity in a fintech startup

  • Sara Dahlman CBS
  • Emil Husted Copenhagen Business School
  • Erik Mygind du Plessis University of Southern Denmark


With this paper we challenge the black-and-white nature of the literature on digital technology and alternative organization. We do so by answering the question: How does digitalization impact organizational alternativity? The research question is operationalized by employing key concepts from Science and Technology Studies (STS) to analyze the use of sophisticated algorithmic tools in an alternative fintech start-up pseudomized as SusPens. More specifically, we rely on the notions of ‘delegation’ and ‘prescription’ (Akrich, 1992), as well as the concepts
‘immutable mobiles’ (Latour, 1986) and ‘obligatory passage points’ (Callon, 1986), to produce a nuanced analysis of the complex ways in which digital technology both enables and constrains alternativity

6.2 Digitalization: Digital Tools and Organizational Transformation