Digital Transformation and Firm Performance of Banks: Digital TransA Finance and Strategic Management Review of Digital Maturity Levels on Firm Performance

Maria Koniari & Sandra Westermann

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study investigates the effect of digital transformation on accounting performance of banks from a strategic management perspective within management economics and finance. It contributes to the current research by employing a quantitative approach to measure digital maturity focused on the financial industry. A holistic approach was applied and a testable hypothesis with two sub-hypotheses was deduced concerning how digital transformation efforts, which results into digital maturity, impact firm performance of financial service players. The management theoretical review ensures the required breadth and depth to appropriately advance knowledge about a less researched topic that is of fundamental relevance since digitalization promises improvements in profitability, efficiency and the ability to meet customers' needs. At first, the resource and knowledge-based view will be applied to explain the relevance of ICT, digitalization, digital transformation and digital maturity within firms. Moreover, a connection to the notion of competitive advantage, capabilities and business strategy will be drawn. Thereafter, the importance of financial intermediaries such as banking institutions will be described and a perspective on how digitalization alters the functions of financial players will be presented. The financial aspects give rise to which key line items are important in regard to performance and digital maturity. This is followed by the construction of a quantitative digital maturity measure from digital stock and flow variables. Subsequently, the research hypothesis was tested. It was found that digital transformation efforts or digital maturity are unlikely to impact financial accounting performance of banks for the employed sample and timeline. However, the proposed model can be proven useful for banks’ management in assessing their current digital maturity state and benchmarking against their peers. Finally, various potential reasons, limitation and other perspectives to the outcome were found which require to be further researched.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages166