Event Title

Digital Transformation: Of Paradoxical Tensions and Managerial Responses

Paper ID

2076

Paper Type

full

Description

Recent studies have noted that digital transformation leads to the emergence of competing demands within organizations, and that these competing demands are a major challenge to transformation. These studies have argued that the success and continuity of digital transformation require recurrent managerial responses to these competing demands. However, it is unclear how managers are to respond to these competing demands. Using paradox theory, we seek to investigate organizational management of the dynamics of competing demands in digital transformation. We present a longitudinal study of a global sportswear company’s five-year journey from a solely B2B company to one with significant digital capabilities for incorporating online B2C into their business model. Through a paradox lens, we argue that managerial responses to paradoxical tensions can be defensive and/or receptive; depending on the sequence of the responses, salient tensions are either mitigated or exacerbated, which in turn stall or move digital transformation forward.

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Digital Transformation: Of Paradoxical Tensions and Managerial Responses

Recent studies have noted that digital transformation leads to the emergence of competing demands within organizations, and that these competing demands are a major challenge to transformation. These studies have argued that the success and continuity of digital transformation require recurrent managerial responses to these competing demands. However, it is unclear how managers are to respond to these competing demands. Using paradox theory, we seek to investigate organizational management of the dynamics of competing demands in digital transformation. We present a longitudinal study of a global sportswear company’s five-year journey from a solely B2B company to one with significant digital capabilities for incorporating online B2C into their business model. Through a paradox lens, we argue that managerial responses to paradoxical tensions can be defensive and/or receptive; depending on the sequence of the responses, salient tensions are either mitigated or exacerbated, which in turn stall or move digital transformation forward.