Workshop Theme | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Workshop Theme

Digital Innovation

Over the last three decades, digital technologies have been infused into the fabric of organizations in an enduring manner. This has radically reshaped the structure, behavior and outputs of many organizations and industries. In turn, this has influenced the whole domain of organizational innovation and related scholarship. The recent emergence of a wide range of digital technologies and associated digitally enabled infrastructures that are being used for products and services including mobile and wearable computing, e-commerce, social media, crowdsourcing, Blockchain, digital payment, virtual and augmented reality, data analytics, Internet of Things, and 3D printing is further accelerating this irreversible trend of digital transformation of broad industrial ecosystems.

Digital innovation (DI) involves less predefined innovating agency as well as blurred outcomes of innovation. Digital infrastructures have therefore fueled new forms of innovation processes that cut across traditional industry/sectoral boundaries, embrace networks, ecosystems and communities, and accelerate ideation, development and evolution of products and services. Similarly, the incorporation of digital artifacts and platforms into physical products allows for increasingly fluid and dynamic value propositions. All these present organizations in all sectors—both new and old, and large and small—with considerable challenges related to their innovation agenda, strategies and practices.

In response to this, an emergent stream of research has focused on digital innovation. The initial impetus for (as well as the efforts on) developing this research focus came primarily from the information systems scholar community. However, digital innovation is inherently an interdisciplinary topic and calls for ideas and insights from a wide range of fields including entrepreneurship, economics, marketing, strategy, organizational behavior, operations, design, computer science, engineering, finance, and technology management.  Such a broadened perspective towards understanding digital innovation will be critical as management scholarship seeks to formulate a more coherent understanding of the varied and currently unclear implications of digital innovation on customers/markets, products, services, organizing as well as of the broader impacts and risks for the economy and society.

In this workshop, we will be committed to facilitating and contributing towards such an interdisciplinary research agenda on digital innovation. An initiative in this direction will be to develop a Handbook on Digital Innovation. The Handbook on Digital Innovation (to be published by Edward Elgar, UK in 2019) aims to build a common platform for scholars from multiple areas to formulate a state-of-the-field understanding of digital innovation from their varied perspectives and to advance a joint research agenda. Such a united effort will not only enhance the awareness of diverse disciplinary and theoretical perspectives of DI but also facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas and insights. We believe that the richness and the promise of future DI research will also depend on how an interdisciplinary community of DI scholars (and their conversations) can be sustained over time. We foresee such a workshop as not only an avenue to promote interactions among existing DI scholars but also a way to attract and educate a new generation of DI scholars.