Aarhus University Seal

Digital transformation, for better or worse: a critical multi-level research agenda

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Justyna Dabrowska, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia
  • Argyro Almpanopoulou, Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • ,
  • Alexander Brem, University of Stuttgart, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Henry Chesbrough, University of California, Libera Universita Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli, United States
  • Valentina Cucino, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies Pisa, Italy
  • Alberto Di Minin, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies Pisa, Italy
  • Ferran Giones, University of Stuttgart
  • ,
  • Henri Hakala, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
  • Cristina Marullo, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies Pisa, Italy
  • Anne-Laure Mention, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Tampere University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, INESC-TEC and University og Porto (FCUP), Australia
  • Letizia Mortara, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Sladjana Nørskov
  • Petra Nylund, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Calogero Oddo, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies Pisa, Italy
  • Agnieszka Radziwon
  • Paavo Ritala, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
For better or worse, digital technologies are reshaping everything we know, from customer behaviour and expectations to organizational and manufacturing systems, business models, markets, and ultimately society as a whole. To understand this overarching transformation, this paper extends the previous literature, which has focused mostly on the organizational level, by developing a multi-level research agenda for digital transformation (DT). In this regard, we propose an extended definition of DT as a socioeconomic change across individuals, organizations, ecosystems, and societies that is shaped by the adoption and utilization of digital technologies. We propose four lenses to interpret the DT phenomenon: individuals (utilizing and adopting digital technologies), organizations (strategizing and coordinating both internal and external transformation), ecosystems (harnessing digital technologies in governance and co-producing value propositions), and geopolitical frameworks (regulating the environments in which individuals and organizations are embedded). Based on these lenses, we build a multi-level research agenda at the intersection between the bright and dark sides of DT and propose the PIAI framework, which captures a process of perception, interpretation, and action that ultimately leads to the possible impact of intended and unintended consequences for the socioeconomic infrastructure. The PIAI framework identifies a research agenda consisting of a non-exhaustive list of topics that can assist researchers to deepen their understanding of the DT phenomenon and provide guidance to managers and policymakers when making strategic decisions that seek to shape and guide the DT.
Original languageEnglish
JournalR&D Management
Pages (from-to)930-954
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

    Research areas

  • digital transformation, digital technologies, digitalization, digitalization of innovation, open innovation, organizational change, socioeconomic change, ecosystems, platforms

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 231105268