A Journey, not a Destination: A Synthesized Process of Digital Transformation

Christian Sciuk, Simon Engert, Maren Gierlich-Joas, Till Wagner, Thomas Hess

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Digital transformation (DT) continues to shake up firms and societies at large. Despite a growing number of studies covering a wide array of aspects of DT’s content, evidence of how DT unfolds in firms remains fragmented. Thus far, the literature has provided punctual insights into firms’ DT processes through single and multiple case studies. However, we lack a holistic understanding of the DT process. Adopting a qualitative meta-synthesis, we analyze 64 cases to inductively develop a DT process model depicting six phases (i.e., initiating, preparing, mobilizing, implementing, disseminating, and iterating). The process evolves on two levels—one rather sequential and one non-linear. We contribute to literature by introducing a synthesized process model tailored to DT’s complex nature. Besides, our model provides practitioners with a frame for assessing the progress of their DT journey and outlining a roadmap for their digital endeavor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 44th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2023) : Rising like a Phoenix: Emerging from the Pandemic and Reshaping Human Endeavors with Digital Technologies
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2023
Article number1604
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe 44rd International Conference on Information Systems: Rising Like a Phoenix: Emerging From the Pandemic and Reshaping Human Endeavors with Digital Technologies - Hyderabad, India
Duration: 10 Dec 202313 Dec 2023
Conference number: 44


ConferenceThe 44rd International Conference on Information Systems
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Digital transformation
  • Process model
  • Organizational change
  • Qualitative meta-synthesis

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