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Information-based recognition: TED talks and the institutional fabric of valuable innovation

  • Gautschi, Heidi Christina
  • Viscusi, Gianluigi
Publication Date
Jul 11, 2016
Infoscience @ EPFL
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Information has long been considered a commodity, something that organizations and individuals can trade for financial gain (Chandler, 1993). And, the networks via which information flowed have long had a conflictual relationship with power and control, business and ideology. In our current Information Age, the complexity of these relationships has been amplified, in part because the network information now flows over is more complex and farther reaching than prior networks. What we are currently seeing is the rise of new forms of organizations as the harbingers of information based power and influence brokers. Yet, the role and impact of these organizations should be framed and studied considering the shifting articulations of function, form, and matter, as pointed out by Kallinikos (2012), which underlies technological evolution and the preeminence that function has reached with advance in computing and information (see also The Economist, 2010, 2014; Yoo, Henfridsson, & Lyytinen, 2010). Furthermore, these information related changes also present challenges at the institutional level. It is worth investigating the implications of the growing relevance of technological information and the loose decoupling of digital content from the software producing it and acting it (Kallinikos, 2012) and infrastructures such as TED, the subject of the present article, especially when considering the issue of the recognition of research institutions.

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