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What is Digital Strategy and Does it Really Matter?

Li, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-6589-6392 (2023). What is Digital Strategy and Does it Really Matter? In: Dagnino, G. B., Cennamo, C. & Zhu, F. (Eds.), Research Handbook on Digital Strategy. (pp. 393-410). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: 10.4337/9781800378902.00031


This chapter discusses the evolving notion of digital strategy and its underpinning digital technologies, outlines an overarching framework for understanding the fundamental reasons why every organization needs a digital strategy, and explores the implications for incumbents and digital native firms alike competing in the digital age. It draws on a comprehensive literature review and over three decades of experience leading research and consultancy projects at the forefront of digital transformation. The framework is based on two fundamental changes in the business environment: the changing nature of the economy and the continuous rapid development of digital technologies. These changes together redefine the “rules of the game”, forcing all organizations to evaluate and reinvent their strategies and business models by exploiting rapidly expanding digital capabilities. In particular, as the digital and physical worlds are increasingly meshed into one, a new cyber-physical environment is emerging, which has profound implication for how digital strategy is developed, executed and evaluated. The rapid development of synthetic virtual worlds and metaverse (including those based on VR/AR, blockchain, crypto currencies and web 3.0) may add a significant new dimension to the evolving business environment. For business leaders, the main challenge is often not in generating more new ideas, but rather in effectively managing the transition to new technologies, new strategies and business models, and new organizational designs. Three emerging approaches for managing the transition in some world leading organizations are discussed. Finally, the theoretical contributions are summarised and three new areas for future research are highlighted.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in Research Handbook on Digital Strategy edited by Dagnino, Giovanni Battista; Cennamo, Carmelo; Zhu, Feng, published May 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.
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
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