Alternative organizations often find that off-the-shelf technology encodes politics at odds with their values. In response, some develop their own technology coherent with their alternative way of working, which they can share with similar organizations and thereby bolster the movement. The open source approach to software appears a perfect match for more democratic software development processes. And yet in our study of an Alternative Food Network, we find a significant faction that rejects a proposal to share in the development of open-source software to manage their cooperatively-run grocery stores, with some even arguing that the use of configurations of proprietary software is more democratic. To make sense of this surprising finding, this research project explores the relationship between technological openness and openness as a democratic value.
Shanahan, Genevieve, Thibault Daudigeos, Stéphane Jaumier and Alban Ouahab. (2021, May). ‘We have to make them dialogue!’: Agonistic democracy in alternative organizations’ software development. 8th Ethnography Workshop, Lyon, France.
Shanahan, Genevieve, Thibault Daudigeos, Stéphane Jaumier and Alban Ouahab. (2020, July). Can big be beautiful? Tensions within normative communities. Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Shanahan, Genevieve, Thibault Daudigeos, Stéphane Jaumier and Alban Ouahab. (2019, March). Can big be beautiful? A case study of a partial metaorganization of food cooperatives. MOTI workshop, Grenoble Ecole de Management, France.
Shanahan, Genevieve, Thibault Daudigeos, Stéphane Jaumier and Alban Ouahab. (2018, July). Can big be beautiful? A case study of a metaorganization of food cooperatives. 34th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium (EGOS), Tallinn, Estonia.