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Digital Business Transformation and Structural Changes in the Networked Society

The program aims to study the digitization and technology-driven changes disrupting conventional industry and business logics, and how these disruptive forces affect traditional (and new digital) enterprises; their operations, business models and strategic (re-)positioning processes. How the new user centric, access and service rather than product based systems become associated with new forms and structures of intermediation (which include new technical platforms), new patterns of convergence of and cross-industry cooperation, and new business models, are at the core of the theoretical conceptualization and modelling. Empirically, the program covers several industrial sectors and convergence process. 

The program has three broad but strongly connected aims and ambitions:

1. The theoretical and conceptual aim of the program is to develop a conceptual toolbox for analysing disruptive digitalization and service innovation in the new emerging networked society. The framework treats these disruptive forces in various sectors as associated with the interdependent processes of: new forms of intermediation, the overlapping of industrial networks (“convergence”), business modelling including coordination of business models, and also the objectification of technologies, like technical platforms, as new emerging actors in theses processes. The aim is to deepen recently initiated conceptual work with this focus (Andersson & Mattsson 2015, accepted and forthcoming). See next section for deeper discussion on the theoretical focus.

2. The empirical aim and ambition is to perform comparative case studies of disruptive digitization processes in a set of chosen industries. The idea is to choose different industries which have in common 1) the fact that digitization has the potential to disrupt existing industry logics, 2) processes of cross-industry convergence and cooperation, and 3) new business modelling processes which include dis- and re-intermediation processes and new roles of technologies including technical platforms. The purpose of the empirical cases is to deepen the understanding of these new, emerging processes and to form the foundation for the new theoretical and conceptual work.

3. The objective of the program is to put emphasis, already from the outset, on the dissemination and application of the theoretical and empirical work, providing relevance to business and education. Unlike many research projects, the ambition of the project is to make the dissemination of results an early and ongoing part of the process. The project is performed in close cooperation with industry, and will also be connected to a new educational development program, including master, MBA and PhD levels. The aim is to transform empirical and conceptual work into teaching and educational content in different techno-economic course programs to which the research group is associated.