What is it about?

The horizontal combination of frontend face-to-face & digital processes with backend face-to-face & digital system platform processes reach for collaboration with external network actors to create value. Digital and face-to-face processes are perceived as interwoven for value creation.

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Why is it important?

The findings go beyond hitherto literature- and practice understanding of digital transformation as a top-down process emphasizing the coordination role of senior management in the SME. A new frontier for horizontal leadership to organize digital transformation is hereby empirically revealed.


Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) often have limited resources. Digitalization can decrease the use of resources, which is potential beneficial for the SME. However, SMEs often lack capabilities for digital strategizing. Digital strategizing is here understood as the organizations ‘on-going processes and practices of strategy making involving IS [Information systems] and IT [Internet Technology]’. Large digital investments can be necessary up-front, which can harm the SME. Board of Directors (BOD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) thus hesitate, neglect and sometimes reject strategizing digital Business Model Innovation (BMI) transformation. These ‘liabilities of smallness’ highlights a need for research on SME BOD and CEO capabilities for strategizing digital transformation for value creation

Associated Professor Tove Brink
Syddansk Universitet

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This page is a summary of: Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises Strategizing Digital Transformation: Backend & Frontend Integration for Horizontal Value Creation, February 2023, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/faia230007.
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