Understanding Controversies in Digital Platform Innovation Processes: The Google Glass case

Amarolinda Klein*, Carsten Sørensen, Angilberto Sabino de Freitas, Cristiane Drebes Pedron, Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Due to their scaling potential and complexity, digital platforms tend to generate public interest, and in some cases significant controversies and paradoxes. Previous research has generated knowledge about controversies in digital platform innovations. However, this work mainly focuses on the types of controversies and their effects rather than on the process of controversy emergence. In this article, we analyze how controversies related to digital platform innovation emerge and how they unfold over the innovation process. We analyze the case of the Google Glass failure to establish this ARSG (Augmented Reality Smart Glasses) extension to Google's digital platform. The paper contributes to the study of controversies by analyzing the digital platform innovation process as a process of translation, in which there are possible controversy emergence points originated in types of disagreements among the different human actors involved and their interactions with non-human elements. These disagreements are related to specific features of digital platforms: the digital platform generativity, the multisided market arrangements in the platform; the loosely coupled layers of technologies and applications involved, and the opaqueness that results from these arrangements. The framework proposed can support digital platform scholars and practitioners to in better understand and manage controversies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119883
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ARSG (Augmented Reality Smart Glasses)
  • Controversy
  • Digital platform innovation processes
  • Innovation management

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