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Information-Centric Operations and the Digital Economy

Guest edited by Andi Smart, Uday Apte, Mark Davis, Roger Maull

Special issue purpose

Digital technologies are having a profound effect on global economies. While the information sector has, historically, been a major economic contributor to GNP (Malchup, 1962; Porat & Rubin, 1977) the opportunities and subsequent management challenges posed by pervasive digital technologies are more important to embrace than ever before. Varying combinations of Social Media, Mobile Data and Devices, Analytics, Embedded Devices and Sensors, and distributed (Cloud-based) computing provide significant opportunities for business model innovation and new forms of wealth creation. Operations Management is at the heart of the business model; the activity systems that create products and services that engender value for customers. Significant changes to the practitioner environments in which OM seeks to provide theoretical insights is not new. The predominance of service in developed economies has (and still does) provide challenge to established theory. The paradigmatic shift required to respond to the challenges of the digital/information-centric context will be equally, if not more significantly, important. The research community needs to embrace this challenge; to evaluate extant theory in light of the new context and to develop, build and test new theory. This will require a significant reappraisal, for example, revisiting the notion of the supply chain / network in light of emerging ecosystems; evaluating critical contingencies for system design and the role of platforms and modularity; exploring new forms of customer experience achievable through device interdependence; reviewing potential strategic risks resulting from system interconnectedness and the contagion effect.

This special issue welcomes submissions on a range of topics related to Operations Management in a digital context.

Articles are particularly welcome that report research on:
• Theoretical challenges for OM in the digital/information economy
• System design: dematerialisation and the operations challenges in an information-centric context.
• Degrees of engagement: customer experience, co-production and self service
• Business models in the digital economy: key characteristics
• Determinants of performance in information-centric operations contexts
• Communities, two sided markets, social media
• Risk and the contagion effect
• Partnerships and Ecosystems
• Platforms and modularity
• Digital traces and Big Data
• Information supply chains: the impact of liquification
• Digital technologies and affordances for operations capabilities
• Studies that develop or test theories to help understand management challenges of the digital environment.

Manuscripts that present rigorous qualitative or quantitative empirical studies, significantly deepen conceptual foundations, or seek to advance theory are particularly welcome. We welcome exploratory, case-based, research that identifies compelling theoretical propositions. 

Submission guidelines

Please submit your paper for consideration using the ScholarOne online submission system:
Full instructions for authors can be found here:

Deadline for paper submission: 28th February 2014