How Do Market Standards Inhibit the Enactment of Digital Capabilities? A Case Study of Airline Pricing

Daniel Fürstenau*, Catherine Cleophas, Natalia Kliewer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Digital capabilities can improve organizations’ performance by supporting complex decision-making processes. However, when market standards constrain their enactment, the potential benefits promised by digital capabilities do not realize. The paper explores this tension by means of the critical case of a European airline, which had difficulty to enact a novel pricing approach and finds that market standards are entrenched in the airline’s pricing and distribution ecosystem. This causes the organization to focus on local improvements and IT-based workarounds instead of enacting a dramatically new and potentially improved digital pricing capability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness and Information Systems Engineering
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Air transport
  • Digital capabilities
  • Market standards
  • Path dependence
  • Pricing

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