How firms cope with digital revolution Defended on Thursday, 2 September 2021
Digital-driven technological innovations are revolutionizing our world, and firms have to cope with digital innovations to survive. Coming to grips with the innovations can be problematic, even for historically successful incumbent firms. Therefore, we are interested in understanding how firms cope with digital innovation. This dissertation presents three studies of the firms’ strategy and organization in developing and adopting digital technological innovations. The first study is an in-depth case study of an incumbent’s response to technological disruption. In the early stages of technological disruption, managers have competing perceptions of the future, and customers’ demand is heterogeneous. The study shows how a firm with “misalignment capability” and “multi-focus attention” can cope with its customers’ divergent demands to avoid disruption. In the second study, the combined effect of macro- and micro-factors on technology adoption is scrutinized. This study reveals that organizational cognitive capabilities and managerial attention to new technology compensate for institutional shortcomings, i.e., weak regulatory system and various temporal orientations, in speeding up platform technology adoption. In the third study, the concentration is on organizational cognition in firms’ digital transformation. This study offers a model of how firms manage adaptation tensions rooted in their organizational identity by “reflecting on organizational identity, pluralizing organizational identity, leveraging identity pluralism, and extending the organizational identity.” In this dissertation, the boundary conditions of the current theories in the digital era are identified, and new theories are developed and tested. Consequently, recommendations are provided for practice. Avenues for future research are also suggested.
Strategy process, adaptation, technology adoption, managerial cognition, organizational cognition, misalignment, attention, identity, Cloud technology, ecosystem