Transformation & Technology
SKM special issue editors:
TU Kaiserslautern, Germany
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Wolfgang H. Güttel
TU Wien, Austria
TU Kaiserslautern, Germany
FHWien der WKW, Austria
Call for Papers
Digital transformation is currently among the number one concerns of decision-makers in organizations (Trabizi et al., 2019). Over the past two decades, constant technological progress has enabled the digitalization of products and processes and facilitated the emergence of new business models, value propositions, forms of organization as well as organizational identities (Wessel et al., 2021; Yoo et al., 2010). Computer algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly support or even substitute human decision-processes (Hanelt et al., 2020, Meske et al., 2020; Vial, 2019). Organizations use such algorithms and AI associated technology, for example, in their search processes for suitable applicants and future employees, for financial transactions and forecasting processes as well as for scheduling complex logistic tasks (e.g., Kellogg et al., 2020; von Krogh, 2018). Thus, technological development increasingly interweaves humans, organizations, and machines.
In this special issue, we explore how new digital technologies, computer algorithms or AI have started to increasingly impact activities in organizations, such as problem solving, decision-making, organizational routines or pursuing innovations in organizations – key activities of organizations (Brusoni, 2005; Miron-Spektor et al., 2018; Nickerson & Zenger, 2004). While these technologies may accelerate and broaden the ability to make more accurate decisions, especially in predictable areas (Berman, 2012; Glikson & Woolley, 2020; Kellogg et al., 2020) they also delimit the space for freedom, creativity, and flexibility in human decision-making and restrict tolerance, intuition and improvisation, which are necessary for organizational development. Research on heuristics (Loock & Hinnen, 2015) or simple rules (Bingham & Eisenhardt, 2011) has investigated individual and organizational decision-making. However, these streams of literature have not yet built the bridge to algorithms that are embedded into organizations’ IT-systems. The same holds true for how to generate innovations in connection with AI and how organizational routines have to be reassessed in light of AI. Thus, research on the interplay between new digital technologies and decision-making as well as organizing in general is still in its infancy (Murray et al., 2021).
Because of the high relevance of the topic and urgent practical questions that emerge in various industries (e.g., questions surrounding autonomous vehicles or AI-based medicine), we call for research that investigates how algorithms such as AI, but also other digital technologies, influence organizational activities related to problem solving, decision making, creativity and organizational routines. It is the explicit aim of this special issue to bridge research of strategic management, organization, and innovation management. Specifically, we invite contributions that address (but not exclusively) the following questions:
- How do algorithms and digital technologies affect decision-makers and their behavior in organizations, especially in the context of decision-making and problem solving?
- How will the interplay between individual heuristics, organizational rules, and IT-based algorithms affect organizational decision-making and development?
- How do managerial and organizational heuristics help to utilize the potential of AI but at the same time also hedge possible threats that follow from the emergence of powerful digital technology?
- How do algorithms, AI and machine learning affect risk-taking, trust, commitment, and culture in organizations? Which tensions arise on different levels of analysis?
- How does predictive technology impact problem formulation, search processes and tendencies for short-term vs. long-term decisions?
- How do algorithms, AI and other digital technologies impact valuations at the capital and impact organizational decisions?
- Which ethical aspects arise with decision-making in organizations in the context of digital transformation? And which institutional dynamics might emerge?
- What is the impact of AI and related digital phenomena on organizational routines?
- How can innovation management and creativity be reconceptualized against the backdrop of digitalization, in particular advancements being made by AI?
We invite and encourage submissions that address the broad subjects of organizational decision-making, problem solving, innovation and organizational routines in the era of digitalization and deal with (but are not limited to) the following topic areas: Organizational decision-making, strategic decisions, managerial myopia, heuristics, problem formulation and solving, organizational routines, aspiration levels and forecasting, innovation and creativity, organizational learning, tensions, dualities, contradictions, paradoxes and related concepts and fields. Contributions may be theoretical-conceptual or empirical. All kinds of quantitative or qualitative empirical settings (e.g., longitudinal studies, process studies, secondary data analyses, case studies, surveys, experiments, actor-centered measurements) are appreciated. We also encourage multi-level analyses of the topic at hand. We aim to create a platform for scholars with various backgrounds to engage in this core field of organization studies and management research.
Submission Process and Deadlines
• Submissions should be prepared using the Journal of Competences, Strategy and Management Manuscript Preparation Guidelines
• Authors are requested to submit their manuscripts electronically via the journal website.
• Papers will be reviewed according to the Journal of Competences, Strategy and Management double-blind review process.
• We welcome informal enquiries relating to the Special Issue, proposed topics and
potential fit with the Special Issue objectives. Enquiries should be directed to one of the editors.
• Submission deadline: February 28, 2023
• Tentative Publication Date: Latter half of 2024
- Berman, S.J. (2012): “Digital transformation: Opportunities to create new business models.” Strategy & Leadership, 40 (2), 16–24.
- Bingham, C.B., & Eisenhardt, K.M. (2011): “Rational heuristics: The ‘simple rules’ that strategists learn from process experience.” Strategic Management Journal, 32 (13), 1437–1464.
- Brusoni, S. (2005): “The limits to specialization: Problem solving and coordination in ‘modular networks.” Organization Studies, 26 (12), 1885–1907.
- Glikson, E., & Woolley, A. (2020): “Human trust in artificial intelligence: Review of empirical research.” Academy of Management Annals, 14 (2), 627-660.
- Hanelt, A., Bohnsack, R., Marz, D., & Antunes, C. (2020): “A systematic review of the literature on digital transformation: Insights and implications for strategy and organizational change.” Journal of Management Studies, 58 (5), 1159–1197.
- Kellogg, K.C., Valentine, M.A., & Christin, A. (2020): “Algorithms at work: The new contested terrain of control.” Academy of Management Annals, 14 (1), 366-410.
- Loock, M., & Hinnen, G. (2015): “Heuristics in organizations: A review and a research agenda.” Journal of Business Research, 68 (9), 2027-2036.
- Meske, C., Bunde, E., Schneider, J., & Gersch, M. (2020): “Explainable artificial intelligence: Objectives, stakeholders, and future research opportunities.” Information Systems Management, first published online on December 8, 2021, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10580530.2020.1849465 .
- Miron-Spektor, E., Ingram, A., Keller, J., Smith, W.K., & Lewis, M.W. (2018): “Microfoundations of organizational paradox: The problem is how we think about the problem.” Academy of Management Journal, 61 (1), 26-45.
- Murray, A., Rhymer, J., & Sirmon, D. (2021): “Humans and technology: Forms of conjoined agency in organizations.” Academy of Management Review, 46 (3), 552–571.
- Nickerson, J.A., & Zenger, T.R. (2004): “A knowledge-based theory of the firm: The problem-solving perspective.” Organization Science, 15 (6), 617-632.
- Trabizi, B., Lam, E., Girard, K., & Irvin, V. (2019): “Digital transformation is not about technology.” Harvard Business Review, accessed from: https://hbr.org/2019/03/digital-transformation-is-not-about-technology.
- von Krogh, G. (2018): “Artificial intelligence in organizations: New opportunities for phenomenon-based theorizing.” Academy of Management Perspectives, 4 (4), 404-409.
- Vial, G. (2019): “Understanding digital transformation: A review and a research agenda.” Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 28 (2), 118-144.
- Wessel, L., Baiyere, A., Ologeanu-Taddei, R., Cha, J., & Jensen, T. (2021): “Unpacking the difference between digital transformation and IT-enabled organizational transformation.” Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 22 (1), 102-129.
- Yoo, Y., Henfridsson, O., & Lyytinen, K. (2010): “The new organizing logic of digital innovation: An agenda for information systems research.” Information Systems Research, 21 (4), 724–735.