Institutional Logics of Digital Innovation

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, February 2013 until June 2017 (finished)


Hilti Chair of Business Process Management

Main Research

Business Process Management

Field of Research

Process Management


Innovating with digital technologies is an imperative for virtually all organizations. Today, diverse actors use digital technologies to drive innovations, ranging from engineers, designers, and customer facing units, far extending the scope of the IT function which used to lead digital efforts. The view of digital innovation is often less about the characteristics of the technology itself and more about how organizational actors make sense of digital innovations in a particular context. Consequently, organizational actors make sense of digital innovation in different ways and act in accordance with distinct standards of appropriate innovation behavior.

To date, there is little research on how actors external to the IT function innovate with digital technologies. Thus, the PhD project aims to find out how diverse organizational actors draw on various institutional logics and how far they recognize affordances of digital technologies differently. Here, institutional logics refer to the goals, values, and prescriptions associated with a specifc institution. For example, a profession is an institution (social structure) that persists over time and is anchored in specific cultural perspectives and discursive domains (i.e. vocabularies). Drawing on these concepts we seek to characterize how different professionals innovate with digital technologies.


digital Innovation, digital technology, organizational innovation, institutional logics, affordances