An increasing number of firms are responding to new opportunities and risks originating from digital technologies by introducing company-wide digital transformation strategies as a means to systematically address their digital transformation. Yet, what processes and strategizing activities affect the formation of digital transformation strategies in organizations are not well understood. We adopt a phenomenon-based approach and investigate the formation of digital transformation strategies in organizations from a process perspective. Drawing on an activity-based process model that links Mintzberg’s strategy typology with the concept of IS strategizing, we conduct a multiple-case study at three European car manufacturers. Our results indicate that digital transformation strategies are predominantly shaped by a diversity of emergent strategizing activities of separate organizational sub-communities through a bottom-up process and prior to the initiation of a holistic digital transformation strategy by top management. As a result, top management’s deliberate strategies seek to accomplish the subsequent alignment of preexisting emergent strategy contents with their intentions and to simultaneously increase the share of deliberate contents. Besides providing practical implications for the formulation and implementation of a digital transformation strategy, we contribute to the literature on digital transformation and IS strategizing.
Chanias, Simon and Hess, Thomas, "UNDERSTANDING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY FORMATION: INSIGHTS FROM EUROPE’S AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY" (2016). PACIS 2016 Proceedings. 296.