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Leading Digital Transformation: Three Emerging Approaches for Managing the Transition

Li, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-6589-6392 (2020). Leading Digital Transformation: Three Emerging Approaches for Managing the Transition. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 40(6), pp. 809-817. doi: 10.1108/ijopm-04-2020-0202


Despite over half a century’s research and practice, our track record in leading digital transformation remains notoriously poor, with a failure rate of over 70%. The challenge is not in developing new strategies and business models or new organizational designs enabled by digital technologies, nor in successfully executing them as planned, but in effectively managing the transition from where the organization is towards a desired future state when both the path and destination are frequently shifting. Emerging evidence suggests that in the highly unpredictable digital economy, the traditional linear process of developing a strategy and then executing it is increasingly replaced by an iterative process where strategy is developed and recalibrated through execution. My research of a group of global digital champions at the forefront of digital transformation – including Amazon, Alibaba, Baidu, Google,, Uber, VMWare and Slack - has found that three new approaches are emerging, which enable these firms to successfully manage the transition while mitigating the huge risks involved. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many organizations to go digital almost overnight, which has significantly increased the urgency imperative for digital transformation. A new opportunity exists to systematically study such emerging approaches in order to develop new theories, guide practice and maximize impact.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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