When Ambiguity Rules: The Emergence of Adaptive Governance from (In)Congruent Frames of Knowledge Sharing Technology

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As increasingly diverse stakeholders engage in technology-mediated knowledge sharing, the establishment of appropriate forms of governance becomes a challenge. Existing research highlights that successful governance is a result of congruence between different stakeholders’ views and uses of technology, but the way suitable governance can emerge in the presence of incongruent or ambiguous framings of technology is still unclear. In this article, we present a case study of a collaboration between government, industry and university stakeholders, where the social media platform WeChat is used for knowledge sharing. Using the theoretical lens of the technological frames of reference (TFR), we investigate how views and uses of technology among different stakeholders shape the emergence of governance arrangements. We find that patterns of congruence and incongruence in the stakeholders’ framings of technology for knowledge sharing lead to emergent adaptive governance practices, which are characterized by selective participation, role and capability identification, and ad-hoc decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1573-1591
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 25. August 2020


  • Knowledge sharing
  • Adaptive governance
  • Technological frames of reference
  • Social media
  • Inter-organizational collaboration

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