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Digital transformation (DT) is considered to be a core priority for organisations and a strategy to strengthen their survival. With a myriad of new and evolving digital capabilities to initiate a DT process, it is often unclear how multi-stakeholders engage in exploring and exploiting new digital technologies and capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI) during the early adoption phase. This study adopts the theory of organisational ambidexterity to examine how a higher education institution (HEI) adopted AI as part of its DT strategy. Our findings indicate that although multi-stakeholders set out with a shared high-level common vision, at an operational-level tensions emerge around defining DT and AI, realising value from AI, and determining their success. We identified how such tensions can both help or hinder a DT process in the early adoption process and we present recommendations to overcome these. We also present avenues for future research around AI in DT.



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