The Impact of Digitalization on Headquarters of Denmark: A Study of how Digitalization Will Impact the Way Headquarters Add Value to the Corporation

Nicklas Gellner

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis examines how digitalization impacts the way headquarters (HQs) add value to the corporation. Drawing on literature around the value adding activities of headquarters and recent research on the concept of digitalization, I analyse the opinions of 67 Danish HQ managers and find that digitalization is expected to increase the value-added of the HQ but that challenges still remain for HQs in realizing this potential. Enabled by better and more timely data, the findings suggest that HQ managers expect digitalization to assist the HQ in its entrepreneurial (i.e. value-creating) activities through better support of, and involvement in, its subunits’ businesses. However, it is found that well over half of the HQs lack sufficient resources and capabilities to adapt to the digital transformation. Furthermore, four out of ten HQ managers do not agree that they have a clear understanding of how digitalization will impact the way their HQ operates. The results further indicate that the HQ managers expectations towards, and preparedness to adapt to, the digital transformation differ across HQ types, industries, and organizational levels. The conclusions in this paper are reached through an exploratory research method. The findings are based on a survey study and analysed using descriptive as well as inferential statistics such as exploratory factor analysis, t-tests, and ANOVA tests. With these findings, the study contributes to an important area of limited prior research within the academic field of digitalization and headquarters. Similarly, the study’s conclusions have relevant business implications showing the high expectations Danish HQ managers have for the opportunities of digital technologies while likewise revealing the challenges and complexities associated with them.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages120
SupervisorsPhillip C. Nell