Appropriating Digital Transformation: Transformative Ideas about Technology (Presentation at SIGDITE pre-ICIS Workshop, Munich 15.-18.12. 2019)
Marko Niemimaa; Markus Philipp Zimmer
Extant research on digital transformation (DT) views digital technologies and the changes these enable as a core concern for DT. Drawing on translation theory, we propose studying DT not only as a technological concern but as a matter of transformative ideas about technology. In an ethnographic study, we explore how a large German car manufacturer (Car Inc.) appropriated DT. Prior to introducing digital technologies, Car Inc. translated ideas about technology into its local context. Putting its ideas about technology for its DT into practice, Car Inc.’s digital infrastructure evolved into a ‘digital jungle’. Our study delves into Car Inc.’s appropriation of DT as a translation of ideas about technology and how its ideas influence and shape its DT process and in particular, its infrastructure’s evolution into a ‘digital jungle’. We thereby contribute to DT research illustrating the criticality of linking an organization’s appropriation of DT to its DT process.
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