Organizing for Digitalization

The Ratio Institute hereby invites junior scholars in management, economics, economic history, sociology, etc. to submit proposals for a cross disciplinary research colloquium in Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of this Colloquium is to bring together researchers in different fields working on the emergence, effects, diffusion, organizing, and strategic management of digitalization.

While digitalization is by no means a recent phenomenon, the way it shapes business processes across industries (Greenstein, Lerner, & Stern, 2013) is expected to have tremendous impact on economic growth (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2014), competition (Porter & Heppelmann, 2014), and innovation (Dougherty & Dunne, 2012; Yoo et al., 2012). Digital technologies are characterized by data homogenization and by their capacity to transform previously inaccessible data or data that has been hard to codify into useful information. In short, digital artifacts are “embedded in wider and constantly shifting ecosystems such that they become increasingly editable, interactive, reprogrammable, and distributable” (Kallinikos, Aaltonen, & Marton, 2013: 357). Given these features of digital technologies and their increasing diffusion and importance for various sectors of society, scholars predict significant shifts in strategies for the organizational form for addressing market opportunities” (Greenstein, Lerner, & Stern, 2013: 119).
A common understanding of digitalization is that products, processes, services, and even strategies at various levels have become increasingly interconnected (Bharadwaj et al., 2013), hence requiring significant shifts in firms’ business models (Björkdahl, 2009; Keen & Williams, 2013) and management practice innovations to cope with such changes (Khanagha et al., 2013). In the related field of technological disruption, scholars have also addressed the need for studying managers’ cognitive representations of their firms’ capabilities as these are likely to play a role in the selection, adoption, and outcome of digital technologies in organizations (Benner & Tripsas, 2012). Thus, the managerial cognitive representations in directing search and adaptive processes (Eggers & Kaplan, 2009; Kaplan
& Tripsas, 2008; Tripsas & Gavetti, 2000) in relation to digitalization of industries are important factors requiring deeper understanding.
In addressing these various aspects of digitalization, the ambition of this Colloquium is to advance a sophisticated perspective on the interplay between digitalization and management innovations. However, we especially welcome papers dealing with, but not limited to the following issues:

– What are the implications of digitalization on organizational design?
– How do organizations respond to the challenges and opportunities of digitalization in their business models?
– How do digitalization initiatives interplay with strategy practices and processes?
– What management practice innovations have resulted from digitalization?
– How does digitalization prompt shifts in capability cognition and vice versa, how does
capability cognition interplay with digitalization efforts?
– How do firms capitalize on information imperfections in the face of digitalization?
– What new power and control mechanisms evolve from digitalization?
Submitted proposals (5 pages, see further details) are expected to be work in progress: they should be developed into complete papers by July 15 (see important dates), but still be unpublished. We expect the submitted proposals to adopt multiple approaches, including process and variance studies, qualitative in-depth studies and quantitative studies, using data on single corporations, industries, or across countries. Proposals will be selected after a double-blind review process based on relevance for the Colloquium theme and potential for timulating discussion. Around 20 papers are usually accepted, following review of submitted abstracts. Senior PhD students, postdocs, and assistant professors are eligible for participation. Discussants will be appointed to each accepted paper; all participants are expected to read and comment on papers assigned to them. Both the colloquium and hotel accommodation will be free of charge for participants. Ratio will also reimburse reasonable budget travel expenses for all participants with full paper submissions. RCYSS is renowned for offering participants the opportunity to interact in depth, exchange constructive comments, and share insights in a stimulating intellectual environment.