Sensemaking of digital transformation in service industries

Item Type Journal paper

This article addresses the research demand for a holistic perspective on the phe-nomenon digital transformation. To date, the literature is highly fragmented, as most articles focus on domain-, topic-, or technology-specific questions, define the phenom-enon of digital transformation differently, and do not aggregate findings on a higher conceptual level. The aim of this article is to develop an empirically founded, normative framework of digital transformation. Applying an abductive research design, it inte-grates various perspectives on digital transformation from different research domains, and the findings of a single case study in the service industry on executives’ digital transformation sensemaking. The resulting holistic framework shows that digital trans-formation represents a socio-technical change process, which is triggered by the application of digital technologies, creating affordances for market actors and affecting core elements of organizations, competitive landscapes, markets, and societies. The ar-ticle advances the limited strategic service management literature, offering a profound understanding of the triggers, mechanisms, and effects of digital transformation. Fur-thermore, it enables executives to introspectively investigate their own sensemaking approaches and increase their awareness of other sensemaking approaches, which helps to reduce misunderstandings and conflict in the executives’ strategic decision making.

Authors Bühler, Pascal & Maas, Peter
Journal or Publication Title I.VW Working Paper Series
Language English
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area Global Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation
Refereed Yes
Date 2019
Place of Publication St. Gallen
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Peter Maas
Date Deposited 11 Sep 2019 13:20
Last Modified 11 Sep 2019 13:59


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Bühler, Pascal & Maas, Peter (2019) Sensemaking of digital transformation in service industries. I.VW Working Paper Series,

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