Not at all Ambidextrous: Industrialized Business/IT Transformation at UPM

Petteri Kettunen, Till J. Winkler

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    Despite the undoubted importance of IT-enabled transformations for sustaining firm competitiveness, we are only at the beginning of understanding the conflicts and resolution strategies in IT transformation program planning and execution. Given the well-known global versus local tensions, practitioners might be tempted to balance the different extremes by remaining ‘ambidextrous’ throughout these multi-year initiatives. The case of the transformation of manufacturing processes at UPM demonstrates vividly that this is not always advisable: After an initial ambidextrous approach had failed painfully, UPM took an ‘industrialized’ strategy guided by five principles described in this paper. While UPM applied different balancing mechanisms on the program execution level, the industrialized principles demanded extreme resolution strategies on the planning level to manage the turnaround and achieve the desired benefits. Besides providing insights on each principle’s key mechanisms, UPM’s learnings emphasize the important, but undertheorized fit to business strategy in leading IT-enabled change.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016
    Number of pages17
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Electronic)9780996683135
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016: Digital Innovation at the Crossroads - University of Limerick, Dublin, Ireland
    Duration: 11 Dec 201614 Dec 2016
    Conference number: 37


    Conference2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016
    LocationUniversity of Limerick
    OtherThirty Seventh International Conference on Information Systems
    Internet address
    SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


    • IT-enabled business transformation
    • Strategic ambidexterity
    • Program management
    • Industrialized principles
    • Manufacturing industry
    • Case study

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