Aligning with New Digital Strategy: A Dynamic Capabilities Approach

Adrian Yeow, Christina Soh, Rina Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Prior IS research has not fully addressed the aligning process in the highly dynamic context of digital strategy. To address this gap, we conduct a longitudinal analysis of a B2B company's journey to enact its B2C digital strategy, using the dynamic capabilities approach. We found that as an organization shifts towards a digital strategy, misalignments between the emergent strategy and resources give rise to tension. Our study resulted in the development of an aligning process model that is comprised of three phases (exploratory, building, and extending) and generalizable organizational aligning actions that form the organization's sensing, seizing, and transforming capacities. These aligning actions iteratively reconfigured organizational resources and refined strategy in order to respond to both changes in the environment and internal tensions. We also recognized that there are challenges to alignment, and conceptualized them as paradoxical tensions. This provided insights as to how such tensions are triggered and how they can be addressed. Finally, by applying the dynamic capabilities approach to aligning, we also show that alignment is not separate from such capabilities, but that aligning is enacted through the sensing, seizing and transforming capacities and their attendant aligning actions.
Prior IS research has not fully addressed the aligning process in the highly dynamic context of digital strategy. To address this gap, we conduct a longitudinal analysis of a B2B company's journey to enact its B2C digital strategy, using the dynamic capabilities approach. We found that as an organization shifts towards a digital strategy, misalignments between the emergent strategy and resources give rise to tension. Our study resulted in the development of an aligning process model that is comprised of three phases (exploratory, building, and extending) and generalizable organizational aligning actions that form the organization's sensing, seizing, and transforming capacities. These aligning actions iteratively reconfigured organizational resources and refined strategy in order to respond to both changes in the environment and internal tensions. We also recognized that there are challenges to alignment, and conceptualized them as paradoxical tensions. This provided insights as to how such tensions are triggered and how they can be addressed. Finally, by applying the dynamic capabilities approach to aligning, we also show that alignment is not separate from such capabilities, but that aligning is enacted through the sensing, seizing and transforming capacities and their attendant aligning actions.
LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Strategic Information Systems
Volume27
Issue number1
Pages43-58
Number of pages16
ISSN0963-8687
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Aligning
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Digital strategy
  • Tension
  • B2C ecommerce
  • IT alignment

Cite this

Yeow, Adrian ; Soh, Christina ; Hansen, Rina. / Aligning with New Digital Strategy : A Dynamic Capabilities Approach. In: Journal of Strategic Information Systems. 2018 ; Vol. 27, No. 1. pp. 43-58
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Aligning with New Digital Strategy : A Dynamic Capabilities Approach. / Yeow, Adrian; Soh, Christina; Hansen, Rina.

In: Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Vol. 27, No. 1, 03.2018, p. 43-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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