Liechtenstein Information Systems Seminar: Standing out from the crowd: Digital innovation as reconstitution

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Prof. Dr. Ola Henfridsson


Tuesday, May 8th 2018, 10.30 - 12.00
University of Liechtenstein, H6


Prof. Dr. Ola Henfridsson
Information Systems & Management Group
Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick
United Kingdom

Digital technology facilitates swift and lean creation of innovations. Evidence of this ease of innovation is not only found in the application abundance in popular platform ecosystems, but also in traditional industries where the digitization of products facilitates innovation. However, if digital innovation becomes easier, the creation of novelty becomes more challenging. Yet, there exist firms that succeed in creating novel outputs in their digital innovation. A pressing issue is, therefore: What is the process by which digital innovation generates novelty in its output? We respond to this research problem by conducting case study research at TopTech, which is a Chinese technology company that innovated a truly first digital theatre. In our data analysis, we note that novelty is not created in one radical leap, but unfold over time and across layers of the digital innovation. Using theories of design and layered architecture of digital technology, we coin the term reconstitutive cycles to frame the distinct moves by which novelty unfolds within and across architectural layers such as form, hardware, software, contents, and business. We identify and zoom in on sixteen reconstitutive cycles, and synthesize these findings into a process model of novelty generation in digital innovation. The paper offers implications for the emerging literature on digital innovation.

Ola is a Professor and the Head of the Information Systems and Management Group at Warwick Business School. His research interests relate to the transformative potential of digital technology as it pervades modern business and entrepreneurship. Ola teaches digital business strategy and digital innovation at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has worked and consulted with leading companies such as General Motors, Mecel, Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, and many more. He is a visiting professor at the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation at University of Gothenburg. He is also an external expert for the Information Systems and Innovation Group, Department of Management at the London School of Economics. He was a runner-up for the Warwick University 2015 "Outstanding Contribution to Research Excellence" award. He received a Warwick Business School award for "Outstanding Contribution to Research" in 2016-2017.

Ola earned his PhD at Umeå University, Sweden, in 1999. During 10 years at the Viktoria Institute, he managed a research group on digital innovation in the automotive industry and eventually became the institute's Research Director. Ola has been a professor at Chalmers University of Technology, part-time faculty member at Halmstad University and Jönköping International Business School, and visiting professor at University of Oslo and Georgia State University.

Ola's research has been published in world-elite journals such as Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, and Organization Science. He is a Senior Editor of Information Systems Research (2015-2018) and Journal of Information Technology. He is a former Associate Editor (2006-2008) and Senior Editor (2008-2011) of the MIS Quarterly. He is a program co-chair for the ICIS conference in Seoul in 2017 together with Christina Soh and Youngjin Yoo. He is Program Chair for AoM OCIS at Chicago in 2018. He is also running an ISR special issue on Digital Infrastructure and Platforms with Panos Constantinides and Geoff Parker, and a JSIS special issue on Digital Entrepreneurship with Sirkka Jarvenpaa and Yulin Fang.

The participation is free of charge.


Prof. Dr. Stefan Seidel


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