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Digital transformation, strategic management and entrepreneurial process: dynamics, challenges, opportunities

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Strategy and Management

The submission portal for this special issue will open on August 1, 2020.

Guest Editors:

  • Ciro Troise, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” (Leading G.E.)
  • Diego Matricano, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”
  • Mario Tani, University of Neaples “Federico II”
  • Elia Ferrara, Italian Competition Authority (Antitrust)

Aims and Scope
The current era is characterized by the advent of the so-called “digital transformation” (Berman, 2012; Hess et al., 2016; Matt et al., 2015; Westerman et al., 2014). The significant diffusions of the digital and the new technologies are among the key drivers for many companies in the global scenario (Badescu & Garcés-Ayerbe, 2009; Trabucchi et al., 2017). At the same time, the rise of the “Industry 4.0” paradigm (Lasi et al., 2014), and the development of new ICTs (Information and Communications Technology) (De Waal et al., 2017; Sassi & Goaied, 2013) had a strong impact on the economy of many countries. These new technologies also affect the dynamics and possible outcomes (e.g. new ventures creation) of entrepreneurship processes. In this vein, there is a growth of new types of entrepreneurship such as digital entrepreneurship (Kraus et al., 2019; Nambisan, 2017; Srinivasan & Venkatraman, 2018).

The booming of digital transformation, and the strong use of new technologies, raises a growing number of questions on the changes traditional businesses, strategies, and management practices companies need to establish to respond to them. In particular, strategic decision-making process and entrepreneurial process can be intriguing topics to explore in the digital transformation era.
The use of these technologies to radically improve the enterprises’ performance and/or reach (Westerman et al., 2014) is a hot topic for companies worldwide. Complex transformations influence many areas such as strategic direction, competiveness, business model, decision making, innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity. These transformations present important opportunities for both companies and entrepreneurs (Aydalot & Keeble, 2018; Cohen et al, 2017; Li et al., 2018).

In this scenario, CIOs and other senior executives face the challenge to handle the opportunities and risks of this digital transformation (Hess et al., 2016). In fact, many boards of directors and senior management teams aspire to the efficiencies, innovations, and competitive advantages that digital transformations might deliver (Andriole, 2017). Digital transformations may create significant opportunities for companies to design new business models and change their operations to leverage them (Berman, 2012). A high number of companies, in almost every industry, have conducted several initiatives to explore these new technologies and to exploit their benefits (Matt et al., 2015; Hess et al., 2016). The exploitation of new technologies affect companies and in particular productivity, business processes and innovation management (Matt et al., 2015).

In this evolving scenario, many new technologies have entered the arena and among the most promising we can find: artificial intelligence, IoT, digital platforms, big data, apps, cloud computing, machine learning, blockchain, and other “technologies” (such as the financial technologies or “Fintech”, in particular ICOs and crowdfunding).

These new technologies can affect even the business model innovation and can lead the transformation of several traditional businesses (Mustafa, 2015; Zhong & Nieminen, 2015). Among these business models, smart meters ones (Kendel & Lazaric, 2015) and smart city ones (Capdevila & Zarlenga, 2015; Dupont et al., 2015) are two significant examples.

Over the years, scholars tried to predict the evolutionary patterns in industries based on systemic technologies (Manral, 2011) or to identify the benefits seen by management in high technology strategic alliances (Powers & Wilson, 2010). The current literature shows some contributions that investigated different types of factors (e.g. environmental, political, etc) affecting strategic decision-making processes (Elbanna et al., 2014). In this digital transformation era, networks and partnerships offer companies access to new technologies (often previously unknown to the organizations) or to new markets, leveraging new innovations and jointly developed knowledge (Aggarwal & Kapoor, 2018; Clauss & Spieth, 2017; Kilubi, 2016; Roth et al., 2017).

Digital transformation has received sustained interest in the current literature, however this topic is still in its infancy in the strategic management research stream as well as in entrepreneurship. In fact, this important area presents a limited number of contributions and is understudied, even as both practice and policy continue to rapidly advance.

Inevitably, the digital revolution raises several questions on the traditional businesses outlook. Accordingly, the main research questions, both for scholars and practitioners, are related to the impact of these new technologies and to the improvement of the understanding of strategic management. Scholars know very little about the dynamics of new technologies and their impacts on strategic decision-making process and entrepreneurial process. In fact, there is little knowledge on strategic management or entrepreneurship in the digital transformation era.

This special issue focuses on the identification of the main strategies that companies are exploiting to deal with the new technologies and how they can affect their decision-making process. Furthermore, the special issue focuses on the influence of new technologies on entrepreneurial process.

Possible Topics
Digital transformations enable several changes in entrepreneurship and in organizations’ strategies, processes and interactions. The aim of this special issue is to examine how and to what extent new technologies contribute to development of entrepreneurship, organizations (private companies and public organizations) and to define their future strategies. In fact, digital transformation is changing the way different players operate. In this context, it is useful to add new knowledge in the strategic management research stream.

The special issue will welcome novel research approaches that are conceptual or empirical, in order to advance the development of strategic management in the digital transformation era, with a particular focus on contributions that explore dynamics, challenges and opportunities for both companies and entrepreneurs. The Guest Editors encourage submissions of papers based on several approaches (empirical studies, conceptual studies, case studies, surveys, etc.) that investigate the impact of new technologies on strategic management or entrepreneurship and advances the extant knowledge. The special issue will welcome contributions rooted in different fields, as long as the focus is on strategic management, entrepreneurial process and new technologies. We expect authors to provide new evidence and reveal new insights in the digital transformation era, thus contributing to the current strategic management literature. We will welcome contributions from several disciplines as well as studies based on either quantitative or qualitative approaches.

Suitable topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Strategic management and the role of new technologies;
  • Entrepreneurial process and digital transformation;
  • The impact of digital transformation on organizations’ strategies;
  • Opportunities and challenges for private companies and public organizations;
  • Digital transformation has created a qualitative/quantitative change in how businesses need to operate;
  • Dynamics of the digital transformation;
  • Challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship;
  • Decision-making process in the digital transformation era;
  • Organizations change their strategies to face digital transformation;
  • New technologies for business development: growth, performance and innovation;
  • Links between digital transformation and new strategies;
  • Relations between different technologies;
  • New technologies and organizations’ competitiveness;
  • Competitiveness in the digital transformation era;
  • Digital transformation and new venture creation;
  • Challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs;
  • Digital transformation and entrepreneurship;
  • Digital transformation and business models.
  • Networks and digital transformation;
  • Integration or convergence of new technologies in influencing strategic decision-making process.

Possible research questions could be (but are not limited to):

  • How do new technologies influence strategic management?
  • What is the role of new technologies in promoting entrepreneurship and the spread of new businesses?
  • How do new technologies influence the entrepreneurial process?
  • How and to what extent new technologies influence strategic decision-making process?
  • How do new technologies foster innovation?
  • How do new technologies improve company competitiveness?
  • What is the role of new technologies in strategic decision-making process?
  • How and to what extent new technologies influence entrepreneurship?
  • What is the impact of new technologies in the growth and development of companies?
  • How do new technologies affect networks?
  • How do new technologies affect business models?

The special issue will welcome contributions which show potential for development and that demonstrate good fit with the theme of the strategic management, entrepreneurial process and digital transformation. Since Journal of Strategy and Management covers all facets of strategic management in both private and public organizations, as well as entrepreneurship, it includes the following sub-tracks:

  • strategic direction;
  • entrepreneurship;
  • competiveness;
  • organisation structure;
  • decision making;
  • networks;
  • business model;
  • innovation;
  • leadership;
  • business practices;
  • productivity.

Submissions must be original and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Papers that are suitable for publication in the special issue will be double-blind reviewed as per the JSMA’s review process guidelines. The editors will base their final acceptance decisions on relevance for the special issue, technical quality, innovative content, and originality of research approaches and results.

Papers should be submitted via the journal’s online submission system available through the journal homepage. When submitting please choose the special issue: “Digital transformation, strategic management and entrepreneurial process” as the article type from the drop down menu. All papers must follow the guidelines outlined by the journal for submission, available at:

The guest editors will be available during the EURAM 2020 conference (10-12 June, 2020 in Dublin)
and they are organizing a special track related to the special issue on JSMA (03-10 Entrepreneurial Process:

For any questions interested authors can contact the guest editors:
Ciro Troise ([email protected])
Diego Matricano ([email protected])
Mario Tani ([email protected])
Elia Ferrara ([email protected])
Submission deadline: October 31, 2020

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Aydalot, P. & Keeble, D. (2018). High technology industry and innovative environments: the European experience. Routledge.
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Capdevila, I. & Zarlenga, M. (2015). Smart city or smart citizens? The Barcelona case. Journal of Strategy and Management, 8 (3), pp. 266-282.
Clauss, T. & Spieth, P. (2017). Governance of open innovation networks with national vs international scope. Journal of Strategy and Management, 10 (1), pp. 66-85.
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