Organizing collective action: Does information and communication technology matter?

Ana Cardoso*, Marie Claude Boudreau, João Álvaro Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In recent years, there have been significant changes in the fields of collective action and political activism. The increasing use of ICTs in social interactions has facilitated informal ways of organizing and affected the participation, emergence, and organizing of conflictual and consensual collective actions. In this study we seek to understand how the integrated use of multiple ICTs, that is the ICT ensemble, affects the organizing of consensual collective action. We investigated the ICT ensembles used by two civic movements that successfully organized large-scale consensual collective action events in two European countries. In our results, we reveal how ICT ensembles constrained and facilitated the organizing functions and requirements of collective action. The findings show that ICTs allow organizers to operate purposefully in order to organize collective action, but the extent to which they succeed in the actual concretization of collective action actually depends on their capacities and intents. Therefore, we argue that human factors (that is, their resourcefulness and agency) are greatly implicated in the success of collective action supported by ICTs. This study extends the research on impact of technology-enabled collective action by looking at the combined use of multiple ICTs and examining the rare and overlooked phenomenon of consensual collective action.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100256
JournalInformation and Organization
Issue number3
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Consensus movements
  • Human agency
  • ICT ensembles
  • Information and communication technology
  • Mass collaboration
  • Organizing collective action

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