Reviewing Digital Transformation

December 6, 2017


The current pace in technological change has caused an increased emphasis on innovation and creative talent as the key sources of an organization’s competitive advantage. Accordingly, the immanent issue for many corporates in not even the question of whether or not to innovate their products and business models but rather how to innovate these successfully. As more and more digital substitutes start to disrupt traditional businesses and new, agile competitors start outperforming former market leaders, some organizations are trapped in the innovator’s dilemma. Many aim at (structural) ambidexterity and choose to explore new opportunities, typically within innovation departments and separate units dedicated to exactly this purpose. Others apply crowdsourced approaches by establishing extended expert networks, hoping to gain flexibility and access to new inspiration.  


However, to constantly reinvent and become digitally agile in the long run, they also have to derive learnings from exactly the work cultures experienced in these patterns. Such findings are highly valuable to achieve contextual ambidexterity throughout the organization. They provide insights on how to proceed in terms of open collaboration, internal knowledge exchange and entrepreneurial driven, digital business development – all crucial to become and stay competitive in the digital economy. The knowledge and research base on how digital transformation is practically enacted in organizational reality however is still limited to very few perspectives. Qualitative inquiries in this field are rare and sometimes outdated. Existing ones, often originating from large consultancies, mostly consider the personal opinion of Clevel managers and digital leaders, but never reflect the view of those individuals who actually create and build the digital products and services. Which leads to some unanswered questions, such as: What kind of work culture and structure works best for them? And what might be the biggest obstacles when working for and with large corporations?  


This blog is aiming to fill the existing gap by exploring the individual and social processes involved in the digital transformation of businesses. It analyzes organizational patterns and work cultures for characteristics that are applied to cultivate continuous innovation in fast changing industries and organizational environments. It intends to find organizational and individual criteria that are related to work autonomy and motivation, and that suggest new requirements, e.g. in terms of corporate incentivation and leadership. 

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