Disruption and Legitimacy: Big Data in Society

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The growing availability of data and the emergence of business analytics ecosystems offer possibilities for companies developing innovative business models. However, the disruptive impact of these business models on society is not always judged favourably. This paper explores the growing tensions in the relationship between disruptive Big Data companies and society through the lens of legitimacy – a judgement about the fit and propriety of an entity, such as a company, to society. The study is based on four instrumental cases where Big Data organisations were faced with challenges to their legitimacy. The findings elaborate how digital transformations require companies to understand and manage how much to disrupt and how much to conform to social norms and values. Big Data businesses face a dynamic and paradoxical tension between the potential costs and benefits of their disruptive business models. The topic of legitimacy management is also addressed, drawing out implications for practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
    JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
    Early online date22 Jun 2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2021


    • Big Data
    • Legitimacy
    • Disruption

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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