Research

We designed and tested (repeatedly with industry partners), and administered an extensive survey instrument, called Patterns of Digitization, to assess how global corporations are actually implementing digital transformation.  In this page, we present pieces of research we have published in prestigious peer- reviewed conferences and journals.   

The Essence of Digital Transformation: The Human Dimensions of Digital Leaders

Digital leaders play a pivotal role in digital transformation because they can increase the confidence of their organizations behind these often risky and disruptive initiatives. From our research, we know the practices of digitally developing and digitally mature organizations―particularly those of their leaders and the specific trust-building actions of digitally mature leaders. Based on interviews with successful digital leaders and prior literature, we advance the leadership thought and present fifteen human dimensions of successful digital leaders. We also plan to release Digital Leadership Measurement scale and self-study aids in the near future.

Six Practices of Digitally Mature Organizations

Taylor & Francis Publication produced this infographic based on our Patterns of Digitization Research published in their journal Research-Technology Management (RTM).  

Slide Presentation
DIGITAL LEADERSHIP: Which Leadership Dimensions Contribute to Digital Transformation Success?

In this slide deck, presented at IC2021 International Conference on engineering, Technology, and Innovation held in Cardiff, UK June 23-26, 2021, we present the results of interviews with 13 digital leaders who have successfully carried out digital transformation of their companies. We also introduce 15 human dimensions of successful digital leaders.  

  • Conference: 2021 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE/ITMC), June 2021

DIGITAL LEADERSHIP: Which Leadership Dimensions Contribute to Digital Transformation Success?

The digital transformation of industry and society continues to advance. While some companies are achieving trailblazer status, others are finding it difficult to manage or even initiate the necessary changes. Top-level leaders play a central role in these transformational processes, as they have the opportunity to directly or indirectly influence decisive variables. In this article, we present the results of interviews with 13 digital leaders who have successfully implemented the necessary changes for the digital transformation of their companies. The results of the interviews provide key dimensions for leaders to digitally transform their companies.

  • Conference: 2021 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE/ITMC), June 2021

DIGITAL LEADERSHIP: Character and Competency Differentiates Digitally Mature Organizations

This article describes digital leadership-specifically character and competency-that differentiate digitally mature organizations from digitally developing organizations. We assess the differentiated actions of leaders of digitally mature organizations and discuss their results. The study is based on Patterns of Digitization survey with insights from 559 decision makers across five geographic regions-America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania designed to assess how companies are implementing digital transformation, the various strategies they employ, the investments they make, and the actions they take to achieve large-scale institutionalized digital transformations. The insights gleaned from the study should help lagging companies understand what is involved in implementing a digital transformation and what they need to do to catch up.

  • Conference: 2020 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE/ITMC), September 2020

Patterns of Digitization: A Practical Guide to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is reshaping entire segments and industries: communications, retail, and, increasingly, health care, medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing. While a few companies reach front-runner status, most seem to lag. Digital transformation is a top concern of senior leaders worldwide and motivated the development of this study. This article describes the results of the Patterns of Digitization survey designed to assess how companies are implementing digital transformation. The survey covers the various strategies companies employ, the technologies they invest in, and, in particular, the actions they take to overcome the organizational resistance that is common in most large-scale transformations. We highlight important actions all companies are taking to digitally transform their businesses and the differentiated actions of digitally mature organizations. The insights gleaned from the study should help lagging companies understand what is involved in implementing a digital transformation and what they need to do to catch up.

Patterns of Digitization: What Differentiates Digitally Mature Organizations?

This article describes the results of a survey designed to assess how companies are implementing digital transformation, including the various strategies they employ and the actions they take to achieve large-scale transformations. While a few companies seem to reach front-runner status, the majority seem to lag behind. This phenomenon is a top concern of boardrooms worldwide and motivated the development of this study. To help these organizations, we highlight differentiated strategic principles and characteristics of the companies’ design processes digitally mature companies undertake to transform their businesses. These insights should help lagging companies understand what is involved in implementing a digital transformation and what they need to do to enforce this transformation.

  • Conference: 2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE/ITMC)

The Gap Between the Practice and Theory of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is impacting entire segments of our society and industries of every type: healthcare, medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, retail, etc. enabling new types of innovation, creativity, and entirely new business models. We consider digital transformation to be a significant change in the basic pattern of how organizations create value. In most instances digital transformation represents a fundamental change in the organization’s underlying mindset, systems, and tools needed to reposition parts of, or the entire business design.

For this reason the topic of digital transformation has gained a tremendous amount of attention in consulting publications and management journals. This indicates that there is a profound interest, if not an outright economical need, to better define and understand and manage this phenomena. Unfortunately, the topic is not covered appropriately at scientific conferences and in academic publications. This paper describes the collaborative efforts underway at the Center of innovation Studies located at the Poole College of Management, NC State University and FIR Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen University, to understand the gap that exists between the practice of digital transformation and the coverage of this phenomena in the literature.

  • Conference: 2017 Hawaiian International Conference of System Science