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Extending Digital Infrastructures: A Typology of Growth Tactics

Journal article
Authors Dina Koutsikouri
Rikard Lindgren
Ola Henfridsson
Daniel Rudmark
Published in Journal of the Association for Information Systems
Volume 19
Issue 10
Pages 1001-1019
ISSN 1536-9323
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 1001-1019
Language en
Keywords Digital infrastruktur, utvecklingstaktiker, typologi, transport, tjänsteutveckling
Subject categories Other Engineering and Technologies, Other Social Sciences, Computer and Information Science


Digital infrastructures enable delivery of information services in functional areas such as health, payment, and transportation by providing a sociotechnical foundation for partnership governance, resource reuse, and system integration. To effectively serve emerging possibilities and changing purposes, however, a key question concerns how an infrastructure can be extended to cater for future services in its functional area. In this paper, we approach such digital infrastructure growth as a challenge of aligning new partners whose digital capabilities spur innovative services that attract more users. We advance an initial typology that covers four growth tactics (i.e., adding services, inventing processes, opening identifiers, and providing interfaces) with the potential to set extension of infrastructures in motion. We then explore the proposed typology by investigating the ways in which its particular tactics successfully extended the scope of a digital infrastructure for public transportation in Stockholm, Sweden. Our insights invite IS scholars to engage more deeply in the development of growth tactics that achieve infrastructure extensions necessary for improving the durability of service delivery.

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