Head of the Research Group “Reorganizing Knowledge Practices”
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I am head of the research group “Reorganizing Knowledge Practices” at Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin and an affiliated senior researcher (“Habilitand”) at Witten/Herdecke University. I study new forms of organizing in digitally-networked environments. I am particularly interested in “open” forms of organizing, such as Open Government, Open Strategy, Open Innovation or Open Science. Across these phenomena, I explore how openness – as a way of working and as a value at work – allows individuals, groups and organizations to navigate and address societal challenges.
My work has been supported by a PhD scholarship of the Foundation of German Business (SDW), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German-American Fulbright Commission, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Heinrich Hertz Foundation. I was further awarded an Open Science Fellowship by Wikimedia, Stifterverband and Volkswagen Foundation.
Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Witten/Herdecke’s Reinhard Mohn Institute of Management. I was a visiting researcher at Cornell University’s Department for City and Regional Planning and at Columbia University’s Department of Sociology. I hold a PhD from Freie Universität Berlin, an M.Sc. from the University of St. Andrews and an B.A. from Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Cologne. I gained experience on the nexus of technology and organizing when working for a startup incubator and as a technology journalist.
Organization theory; strategy-as-practice; science & technology studies; qualitative methods; transparency-accountability relations; algorithms; data; knowledge
Data and Governance: How do city agencies cope with the expectation to become transparent by disclosing their data sets to the public? What role do activists, policy makers and entrepreneurs play in this configuration of new “open data” practices? In my dissertation project I studied how open data initiatives enrolled organizations and stakeholders in tenuous “politics of disclosure”, which eventually allowed organizations to both – protect their core mission and develop new and unexpected forms of collaboration with stakeholders.
Algorithms and Expertise: Automated decision systems – oftentimes referred to simply as algorithms – pose an interesting puzzle for organization scholars. They seem particularly helpful for organizing, as their abilities exceed the capacities of human experts. However, it is particularly this property which creates uncertainty about who can be able to claim expertise on such systems. In this project I explore how organizations and their stakeholders come to terms with the question of who can legitimately claim expertise on algorithmic systems. To do so, I conducted an in-depth field study of NYC, as the world’s first city that tried to regulate the use of automated decision systems in public organizations (in cooperation with Malte Ziewitz at Cornell University).
Digitality and Strategy: The practice turn in strategy research has allowed scholars to study strategy not just as something that organizations have, but as something that people in and around organizations do. In this project I explore how emerging technologies are changing how organizations cope with and prepare for an uncertain future. A key pillar of this project is a DFG-supported scientific network, which I successfully applied for together
with Thomas Gegenhuber, Violetta Splitter and Georg Reischauer.
Knowledge and Organizing: When doing research on how new technologies shapes organizing, I became interested in how such very technologies reconfigure the way we perform organizational research. In this project I therefore study different interrelated phenomena of new and digitally-mediated scientific practices. This includes research on topics such as predatory journals, open peer review, shadow libraries and science slams. Through projects like the open and collaborative textbook "O2C2", I learn about these practices by performing them myself.
- Golka, P. and Heimstädt, M. (2021). Öffentliche Organisationen und Strategie: Von verordneten Strategien zu alltäglicher Strategiearbeit. Zeitschrift Führung + Organisation. [preprint].
- Heimstädt, M. and Friesike, S. (2020). The odd couple: Contrasting openness in innovation and science. Innovation: Organization & Management.
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2020). Transparency and accountability: Causal, critical and constructive perspectives. Organization Theory 1(4).
- Dobusch, L. and Heimstädt, M. (2019). Predatory publishing in management research: A call for open peer review. Management Learning 50(5): 607-619.
- Roth, S., Santonen, T., Heimstädt, M., Clark, C., Trofimov, N., Kaivo-oja, J., Atanesyan, A., Laki, B., and Sales, A. (2019). Government.com? Multifunctional cabinet portfolio analysis of 201 national governments. Journal of Organizational Change Management 32(6): 621-639.
- Heimstädt, M. and Reischauer, G. (2018). Framing innovation practices in interstitial issue fields: Open innovation in the NYC administration. Innovation: Organization & Management 21(1): 128-150. [preprint]
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2018). Politics of disclosure: Organizational transparency as multiactor negotiation. Public Administration Review 78(5): 727-738. [preprint]
- Heimstädt, M. (2017). Openwashing: A decoupling perspective on organizational transparency. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 125: 77-86. [preprint]
- Heimstädt, M. (2015). Societal self-observation in the time of datafication: Interfunctional analysis of the Chilean open data web portal. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 22(4): 57-73. [preprint]
- Heimstädt, M., Saunderson, F. and Heath, T. (2014). From toddler to teen: Growth of an open data ecosystem. eJournal of eDemocracy & Open Government 6(2): 123-135.
- Heimstädt, M., Saunderson, F. and Heath, T. (2014). Conceptualizing open data ecosystems: A timeline analysis of open data development in the UK. In Proceedings of the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM2014), Krems, Austria.
- Heimstädt, M. (2018). Ausdrucksformen und Förderbedarf der digitalen Zivilgesellschaft in Deutschland. Stiftung Bridge (unpublished).
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2017). Perspektiven von Open Educational Resources (OER) für die (sozio-)ökonomische Bildung an Schulen in NRW und in Deutschland. FGW – Forschungsinstitut für gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung [short version; slides]
- Heimstädt, M. (2016). OER in 2016: Offenheit setzt sich durch. Technologiestiftung Berlin. [data]
- Dobusch, L., Heimstädt, M. and Hill, J. (2015). Open Educational Resources in Deutschland: Entwicklungsstand und Perspektiven. Technologiestiftung Berlin.
- Dobusch, L., Heimstädt, M. and Hill, J. (2014). Open Education in Berlin: Benchmark und Potentiale. Technologiestiftung Berlin.
Comments, essays and discussion papers
- Heimstädt, M. (2020). Book review: Mikkel Flyverbom's 'The Digital Prism: Transparency and Managed Visibilities in a Datafied World'. Organization. [preprint]
- Steinhardt, I., Fischer, C., Heimstädt, M., Hirsbrunner, S. D., İkiz-Akıncı, D., Kressin, L., ... Wünsche, H. (2020). Das Öffnen und Teilen von Daten qualitativer Forschung: eine Handreichung. (Weizenbaum Series, 6). Berlin: Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society - The German Internet Institute.
- Dobusch, L., Heimstädt, M., Mayer, K. and Ross-Hellauer, T. (2020). Defining predatory journals: no peer review, no point. Nature 580, 29.
- Heimstädt, M. (2020). Book review: Richard Whittington's 'Opening Strategy'. SocArXiv.
- Fischer, C., Eisentraut, N., Fischer, G., Fecher, B., Friesike, S., Goller, M., … Wildgans, J. (2019). Unfundierte Kritik. Eine Erwiderung auf einen Kommentar zu Schwächen von Open Access. OSF Preprint.
- Dobusch, L., and Heimstädt, M. (2018). Von Fake Journals zu Fake News: Ausweg Open Peer Review? Synergie: Fachmagazin Für Digitalisierung in Der Lehre. 5: 42-47.
- Heimstädt, M. and Möllering, G. (2017). Let’s talk about time! Temporal talk as a coordination mechanism in institutional work. Nano-Papers: Institution – Organization – Society (MCTS). Paper No. 3.
- Dobusch, L and Heimstädt, M. (2016). Erst Offenheit gibt digitaler Bildung Richtung. Forum Wissenschaft, 04/2016: 21-25.
Work in progress
- "Paper on the open science movement" [Title has been changed to ensure anonymity during peer-review] (under review)
- "Trials of expertise: Studying controversies over algorithmic systems in NYC agencies" (under review)
- "Riskante Retweets: Digitale Unmutsbekundungen als Objekt des Risikomanagements in Wertschöpfungsnetzwerken" (under review)
- "A pandemic of prediction: On the circulation of contagion models between public health and policing" (under review)
- "Curb your enthusiasm: Tactics for derailing impact work in management research" (under review)
- "Strukturwandel der wissenschaftlichen Öffentlichkeit: Open-Access-Transformation als Pfadbruch" (under review)
- "Discovering the generative potential of tensions: How city agencies move beyond the digital information paradox" (preparing for submission)
- "Algorithmic walks," Invited panel presentation at the Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS) (invited by Prof. François-Xavier De Vaujany), Internet, July 10, 2020 [video]
- [Title omitted as manuscript is currently under double-blind review], 36. EGOS Colloquium, University of Hamburg, Germany, July 3, 2020
- "From closed to open science," Guest lecture at the Chair for Strategy, Innovation und Cooperation (Prof. Gordon Müller-Seitz), University of Kaiserslautern, June 8, 2020
- "Trials of expertise: How organizations and their stakeholders cope with automated decision systems," PREGOV Workshop, Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg, February 8, 2020
- "Digitale Wissenschaftskommunikation," Professional Development Workshop, Faculty of Management and Economics, Witten/Herdecke University, January 13, 2020 [slides]
- "What makes an algorithm expert?," Momentum Kongress für kritische Wissenschaft, Hallstatt, Austria, October 11, 2019
- "What makes an algorithm expert?," German Academic Exchange Service Alumni Meeting, University of Potsdam, September 28, 2019
- "Was ist eigentlich Offene Wissenschaft und welche Akteure und Ressourcen gibt es?," Opening Workshop of Open Science Fellowship 2019/20, Wikimedia Deutschland, Berlin, September 14, 2019 (with Katja Mayer) [slides]
- "Assembling expertise: Emerging governance of algorithmic systems in New York City," 79. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, August 13, 2019
- "Assembling expertise: Emerging governance of algorithmic systems in New York City," 35. EGOS Colloquium, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, July 5, 2019
- "Assembling expertise: Emerging governance of algorithmic systems in New York City," SASE’s 31. Annual-Meeting, Mini-conference on ‘Algorithmic Prediction vs. Shared Uncertainty. Social Consequences of Individualized Forecast’(convened by Elena Esposito and Alberto Cevolini), June 27, 2019
- "Assembling expertise: Taming problematic algorithms in New York City," 2. RMI Workshop on Organization Theory, TU Kaiserslautern, June 13, 2019
- "Assembling expertise: Taming problematic algorithms in New York City," Workshop on “Data – Practices – Professions”, University of Lucerne, April 26, 2019
- "Digitale Zivilgesellschaft: Organisation, Arbeitsweise, Reflexion," Workshop on “Digitalcourage,” Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, March 2, 2019 [slides]
- "Pluralität durch Open Educational Resources: Wege zum offenen Schulbuch," 3. Annual Conference of the Association for Socioeconomic Education and Research (ASEER), University of Duisburg-Essen, February 22, 2019
- "Offene Wissenschaft im Organisationskontext," Workshop of the Open Science Fellowship, Natural History Museum, Berlin, February 11, 2019 [slides]
- "Bounded Automation: Bruchstellen und Beratungsspielräume in der algorithmischen Verwaltung," Guest Lecture at gfa | public, Berlin, February 1, 2019 [slides]
- "Paradoxes of openness as a strategy: Open data in New York, London, and Berlin," 78. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, August 10-14, 2018 (with Leonhard Dobusch)
- Nominated for Carolyn Dexter Best International Paper Award
- "Open Educational Resources: Digitale Bildung offen gestalten," Rotary Club Witten-Hohenstein, July 17, 2018 [slides]
- "Paradoxes of openness as a strategy: Open data in New York, London, and Berlin," 34. EGOS Colloquium, Estonian Business School, Tallin, Estonia, July 5-7, 2018 (with Leonhard Dobusch)
- "Paradoxes of openness as a strategy: Open data in New York, London, and Berlin," 42. Workshop of WK ORG, University of Hamburg, February 15, 2018 (with Leonhard Dobusch)
- "Challenge accepted! Linking frames and problem situations in institutional change," RMI Research Seminar, Witten/Herdecke University, January 24, 2018 (with Philipp Golka)
- "Das Transparenzparadoxon. Offenheit braucht Geschlossenheit," Berlin Open Data Day 2017, October 4, 2017 [slides]
- "Bringing open innovation to city hall. The role of inter-field framing," 2. RMI Workshop on Organization Theory, University of Cologne, July 31, 2017
- "Carriables und Datenermächtigung," 1. Digitaler Salon, Witten/Herdecke University, June 21, 2017 [visiolog by Patrick Rebacz] [slides]
- "Studying openness across boundaries," Interdisciplinary Network for Studies Investigating Science and Technology (INSIST), University of Vienna, February 28, 2017 [slides]
- "Zur Dualität von Macht und Raum," 41. Workshop of WK ORG, University of Hamburg, February 16, 2017 (with Julia Bartosch)
- "Making emergence happen: Distributed agency and institutional work," 5. Meeting of the DFG-supported scientific network “Das ungenutzte Potential des Neo-Institutionalismus”, Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS), November 3-4, 2016
- "Zur Dualität von Macht und Raum," Momentum Kongress für kritische Wissenschaft, Hallstatt, October 13-16, 2016 (with Julia Bartosch)
- "Shifting organizational boundaries through institutional work: The case of open data in Berlin," 76. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim, August 8, 2016
- "Openwashing: A decoupling perspective on organizational transparency," 32. EGOS Colloquium, University of Naples Federico II, July 7-9, 2016
- "Establishing open data: Cities as strategic action fields," 6. LAEMOS Conference, Adolfo Ibáñez University, Campus Viña del Mar, Chile, April, 9, 2016
- "Shifting organizational boundaries through institutional work: The case of open data in Berlin," 40. Workshop of WK ORG, University of Zürich, February 19, 2016
- "Gotham in the time of datafication: On the introduction of open data in New York City," Lecture at the Graduate Seminar “Cities, Place, Technology”, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, February 8, 2016 (invited by Jennifer Minner)
- "Openness as institutional boundary work: The case of open data in Berlin," 31. EGOS Colloquium, ALBA Graduate Business School at The American College of Greece, Athens, Greece, July 2-4, 2015
- "Reconfiguring the pubic data governance regime: Institutional work in a big city," 3. Austrian Early Scholars Workshop in Management, JKU Linz, May 7-8, 2015
- "Ein kritischer Blick auf Open Data: Technoliberalismus, Transparenz und Privatsphäre," Lecture at the Seminar “Big Data and Privacy” of the Foundation of German Business, SOAS, London, March 14, 2015 [slides]
- "Exklusives Wissen – Inklusive Smartness? Zum Selbstverständnis der Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland," Dialogical Lecture Series “Smart People & Urban Commoning”, Technische Universität Berlin, November 12, 2014 [slides]
- "Offene Verwaltungsdaten: Emanzipation und Innovation durch Intermediation," Momentum Kongress für kritische Wissenschaft, Hallstatt, October 16, 2014 [slides] (with Philipp Golka)
- "Critical data: Can hyperlinks subvert hierarchies?," ‘What’s so critical about your critical management studies PhD?’ Workshop, School of Management, University of Leicester, September 16-17, 2014
- "Open Education in Berlin: Benchmark und Potentiale," #OERde14 Conference by Wikimedia Deutschland, September 13, 2014 [video summary] [slides]
- "Municipal open data and the institutionalization of digital openness," Doctoral Symposium at OpenSym Conference, Berlin, August 26, 2014
- "Organizing and organizations in open data ecosystems," International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM2014), Krems, Austria, May 27, 2014 [slides]
- "Impact investing as post-growth finance," Ephemera Conference “Organizing for the post-growth society”, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, May 7-9, 2014
- "Can machines think?," Student Conference for Interdisciplinary Research, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, February 23, 2013
Media reports and interviews
- Develop Academic Preprints in a Reasonable Way, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, September 25, 2020. [print]
- Folge 7: Preprints, Podcast-Serie "Weizenbaum im Homeoffice", June 8, 2020.
- Die Wissenschaft an den Alltag zurückbinden – es gibt keine Krise der Expertise in Corona-Zeiten, Neue Züricher Zeitung, April 23, 2020. [print]
- Reprinted in: Thema im Fokus – Die Zeitschrift von Dialog Ethik, Nr. 144, Juni 2020.
- Wie offene Wissenschaft zu mehr Selbstbestimmung beiträgt, Weizenbaum Insights, April 15, 2020.
- #fellowsfreieswissen: Max Heimstädt im Porträt [VIDEO], Wikimedia Deutschland, May 20, 2019.
- Artikel 13 würde der Wikipedia indirekt schaden, Sueddeutsche.de, March 21, 2019.
- Organizing Openness: ein offenes Lehrbuch als OER [PODCAST], OERinfo, February 7, 2019.
- OER in der Praxis: So entsteht ein offenes Lehrbuch, ZBW Mediatalk, July 3, 2018.
- Fellow Programm Projekte: Ring-a-Scientist, Organizing Openness #WMDE [PODCAST], Open Science Radio. February 7, 2018.
- Transparentes Management: Offen für alle(s)?, bdvb aktuell, Volume 137, pp. 18-19, 2017.
- Nachgefragt bei… Dr. Maximilian Heimstädt, Institute for Digital Transformation in Healthcare. 2017.
- Heimstädt, M. (2020). Between fast science and fake news: Preprint servers are political. LSE Impact Blog. April 3, 2020.
- Heimstädt, M. (2020). Preprint-Server in Zeiten von Covid-19: Zwischen Fast Science und Fake News. Netzpolitik.org. March 30, 2020.
- Heimstädt, M. (2020). Offene Wissenschaft, jetzt! Witten/Herdecke University Blog. March 3, 2020.
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2020). To address the rise of predatory publishing in the social sciences, journals need to experiment with open peer review. LSE Impact Blog. January 10, 2020.
- Heimstädt, M. (2019). New York schafft Algorithmen-Beauftragten. Netzpolitik.org. December 16, 2019.
- Heimstädt, M. (2019). SAP Vlog: Richard Whittington on “Completing the practice turn in strategy research”. Video interview for SAP IG Youtube Channel. June 7, 2019.
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2019). Ökonomische Schulbildung: Ein Plädoyer und vier Szenarien für offene Schulbücher. Makronom. March 18, 2019.
- Arjaliès, D. , Furnari, S., Grandazzi, A., Hasbi, M., Heimstädt, M., Roulet, T. and de Vaujany, F. (2018). Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing. LSE Impact Blog. December 7, 2018.
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2018). Predatory open access journals: Is open peer review any help? Governance Across Borders. July 25, 2018.
- Heimstädt, M. and Dobusch, L. (2018). Predatory Open Access Journals: Ausweg Open Peer Review? Open Media Studies Blog. July 23, 2018.
- Heimstädt, M. (2018). Organizing Openness: Der Weg zum offenen Lehrbuch. Wikimedia Deutschland Blog. June 22, 2018.
- Heimstädt, M. (2017). Die Arbeit der Zukunft braucht Bildung der Zukunft – Open Educational Ressources. Zukunft der Arbeit. June 7, 2017.
- Heimstädt, M. (2017). Open Data erfolgreich umsetzen: Offenheit braucht Geschlossenheit. Wegweiser Kommune Blog. May 31, 2017.
During my time as a PhD candidate I maintained a blog to document observations, experiences and open questions. I closed the blog when I lerned to enjoy other communication chanels (i.e. Twitter), but have archived some of my posts below.
- Launching into the open. Step 1: Get a rocket (November 9, 2013)
- Open data benchmarking: 3 approaches (November 25, 2013)
- Investigating the British open data ecosystem (January 20, 2014)
- Meandering through the community (February 21, 2014)
- The day my M.Sc. thesis turned open (February 24, 2014)
- Berliner Netzpolitik und digitaler Aktivismus (April 23, 2014)
- Lobo auf der #rp14: Netzgemeinde, sei zornig und spende! (May 6, 2014)
- Conferences, colleges and new colleagues (September 1, 2014)
- The 5-hour-book sprint (September 8, 2014)
- “Jugend Hackt” and the value in code (September 18, 2014)
- Standardsituationen der Open Data Kritik (March 14, 2015)
- I went to a “scrapeathon”. This is what happened (March 19, 2015)
- PhD dissertation strategies (April 8, 2015)
- 6 things I learned from collecting interview data (October 8, 2015)
- A textbook on “open organizing” (October 27, 2017)
- Algorithmic accountability in NYC (September 7, 2018)
- Digital Strategizing: Crafting Strategy in the Age of Platforms, Ecosystems, and Online Communities. Symposium at the 79. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, August 13, 2019
- Strategy-as-Practice Community Day: Rethinking Strategy Research in the Digital Age. Preconference Workshop at 35. EGOS Colloquium, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, July 3, 2019 (with Georg Reischauer, Jeannie Holstein and Theresa Gebauer)
- 2. RMI Workshop on Organization Theory. TU Kaiserslautern, June 13, 2019 (with Gordon Müller-Seitz)
- 5-Hour Book Sprint. Workshop supported by the Foundation of German Business, Berlin, September 8, 2014 [output]
- Open Data – Better Society? Interdisciplinary Workshop, supported by the Foundation of German Business, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, April 26-27, 2013
Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Big Data & Society, Organization, Organization Studies, Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change,
Journal of Management Inquiry, Journal of Trust Research, Momentum Quarterly, Policy & Internet, Public Administration Review, Strategic Management Society, WK ORG Workshop,
Zeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung
Bots, Biases and Bottom Lines: Algorithms and Organizations
Algorithms have left the labs of computer scientists and entered all kinds of organizations. Recruiting, controlling, planning, product development: Today, much of the routine work that is done in organizations is supplemented or even replaced by data-centric automating technology. The proprietary, opaque, and constantly evolving algorithms of Google, Youtube and Twitter increasingly organize our digital public spheres. Recommendation engines shape our cultural tastes and patterns of consumption. In this graduate seminar, we examine the practices, cultures and imaginaries of algorithms in organizations. We also study how these technologies are introduced, maintained and contested in organizations. Drawing on case studies from fields such as ride-hailing, music streaming, web journalism or criminal justice, we shall explore how algorithms organize work and what work goes into the organization of algorithms.
This course provides an introductory overview of the formulation and implementation of organizational strategy. You learn how to analyze the strategic position of an organization and how to think about strategic choices. Against the backdrop of these concepts you will learn about a more recent sociological turn in strategy research, which studied strategy not as somethings that firms have but as something that people in organizations do. After successful completion of this module you will be able to discuss traditional heuristics for strategy making and reflect upon the practice of strategy making itself.
Open Organizations and Organizing Openness
Tesla, IBM, and the Wikipedia are just a few examples of organizations, which are – or at least claim to be – more open than others. In this course, we discuss openness as a current issue in management and organization studies. The goal of the course is to critically engage with the promises and practices of open organizing. Drawing on a range of theoretical lenses on openness, such as transparency, participation and inclusion, we explore contemporary phenomena of organizing. These phenomena include open source software communities, open strategy processes, open innovation projects and open government initiatives.
- Julius Peiper (Witten/Herdecke University, now Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
Tel. +49 162 6754947 (mobile)