Failure to Launch: Competing Institutional Logics, Intrapreneurship, and the Case of Chatbots

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22 Scopus citations


This article explores the institutional logics of intrapreneurial units, or groups within organizations that are designated to foster organizational innovation. Drawing on interviews with news intrapreneurs developing chatbots in news media organizations, this study shows that innovation can be stymied because of conflicting institutional logics. News intrapreneurs adopt a logic of experimentation, audience orientation, and efficiency-seeking, but that approach clashes with a journalistic logic prioritizing news workflows, formats, and associated autonomy for newsworkers. These clashing logics limit the adoption and influence of chatbots. This study illustrates the shaping influence of competing institutional logics and their negotiation in the development, deployment, and success or failure of intrapreneurial activities within organizations. The lesson is not that the existence of competing logics is, by default, a defeating proposition for innovation. Rather, this study advances scholarly understanding of the role of institutional logics in frustrating or facilitating technological adoption in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Communication Association. All rights reserved.


  • Chatbots
  • Innovation
  • Institutional Logics
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Journalism
  • Newsbots


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