Go to main navigation Navigation menu Skip navigation Home page Search

A process for managing digital transformation: An organizational inertia perspective - 14 Jun 2023

Professor Evgeny Káganer (IESE Business School) and Associate Professor Robert W. Gregory (Miami Herbert Business School) gave a research seminar on managing digital transformation.

Paper title and abstract

A Process for Managing Digital Transformation: An Organizational Inertia Perspective

Abstract: Digital transformation is often described as organizational change that is simultaneously triggered and enabled by digital technologies. As with other types of organizational transformation, overcoming organizational inertia lies at the heart of digital transformation. Today, however, we have a limited understanding of the specific processes employed by incumbent firms to overcome organizational inertia in digital transformation. In this paper, we draw on a case study of AsiaBank, a large traditional bank in Asia, to explore the micro-foundations of how incumbent firms tackle different types of inertia as they embark on a digital transformation journey. We identify four key digital transformation processes, viz., embracing consumerization of digital technologies, diffusing and appropriating digital business practices, enabling distributed organizing, and revamping IT architecture that combine to reduce negative psychology, socio-cognitive, socio-technical, political, and economic inertia in digital transformation. Our findings expand the extant view on the role of agency in overcoming organizational inertia and contribute to the literature at the intersection of digital innovation and transformation. 


About Evgeny Káganer & Robert Gregory

Dr. Evgeny Káganer is a Professor in the department of Operations, Information and Technology at IESE Business School, where he teaches MBA and executive courses on digital business and digital transformation. His research explores how digitalization and artificial intelligence reshape business models and organizations. He has published on these topics in premier academic and business journals, including Academy of Management Review, MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, MIT Sloan Management Review and Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery among others. His work on the effects of digitalization in business and education has been widely cited in major media outlets, such as the Financial Times, Business Week, Forbes, Handelsblatt, and the CIO Magazine.

Evgeny has extensive experience working with senior executive teams in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Russia on the topic of organizational transformation. He has taught, directed customized programs, and consulted with multinational companies, including Swire, UPS, Oracle, Schneider Electric, ERSTE Group, Amadeus, Carlsberg, Etisalat, and Gazprom Neft among others. In 2013 he was included in the 100 Best Business School Professors list compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Between 2014 and 2018 Evgeny served as Academic Director for Learning Innovation at IESE Busines School, helping develop the virtual classroom solution based on Barco’s weconnect technology and launch IESE Online. In 2020-21 he took a leave of absence from IESE to become Dean for Academic Affairs at Moscow School of Management Skolkovo. In this capacity, he oversaw the development of the school’s program portfolio, faculty body and research centers with the objective of building a global business school in Russia.

A native of Ekaterinburg, Russia, Evgeny holds an MD degree from the Ural State Medical Academy, MBA from Syracuse University, and PhD from Louisiana State University.


Dr. Robert W. Gregory is Associate Professor of Business Technology at University of Miami Herbert Business School. He holds a diploma (combined bachelor’s and master’s degree) in Management Information Systems from the University of Cologne, Germany, a master’s degree in International Management from the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS), and a Ph.D. equivalent, Dr. rer. pol., in Business Administration from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.

He co-founded and serves as the outgoing president of the AIS special interest group on Digital Innovation, Transformation, and Entrepreneurship (SIGDITE). He serves as Associate Editor for Information Systems Research and Senior Editor for Journal of the Association for Information Systems, where he handles the 'theory' paper submissions. He received the Early Career Award from the global Association for Information Systems (2016) and the Best Reviewer Award from Information Systems Research (ISR) and Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ).

Robert's research program focuses on novel management and information systems phenomena related to the diffusion and innovation with digital technologies and the associated transformation of individuals, organizations, and markets. His research has appeared in premier journals, including MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, and Academy of Management Review. His teaching covers digital innovation and disruption, digital transformation, and product and project management across undergraduate, master’s, MBA, and executive levels and spans multiple countries and cultures. He has worked and collaborated with leading blue chip companies across Europe and USA.


This seminar represented an integrative and important part of the House of Innovation's strategy to build a research environment through engagement with prominent guests and their work.

This seminar was part of the Academic Seminar Series offered in cooperation with the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.

House of Innovation Development Digitalization Strategy Technology Lunch seminar Research seminar