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Special collection: "Designing and Managing the Digital Organization"

Increasingly, organizations are assessing their opportunities, developing and delivering products and services, and interacting with their customers and other stakeholders digitally. Software tools and applications, robots, and a host of other digital technologies are the drivers of the future workplace, and these and other digitally based technologies are having large economic and social impacts, including increased competition and collaboration, the disruption of many industries, and pressure being applied to all organizations to develop new capabilities and transform their cultures. Established companies recognize that digital technologies can help them operate their businesses with greater speed and lower costs and, in many cases, offer their customers opportunities to co-design and co-produce products and services. Many start-up companies use digital technologies to develop new products and business models that disrupt the present way of doing business and take customers away from firms that cannot change and adapt.

There are five articles in this collection:

  • Teece & Linden (Business models, value capture, and the digital enterprise) discuss how firms across all industries are embracing internet-based digitization strategies to expand or improve their business. They emphasize that when a new idea or business model is launched, it needs to be supported by a value capture strategy if it is to be successful. The article relates elements of a business model to key organizational design decisions including licensing versus practicing an innovation, insourcing versus outsourcing, and building a business ecosystem.
  • Snow, Fjeldstad, & Langer (Designing the digital organization) offer organizational designers, change agents, and managers a conceptual framework for the design of a digital organization – identifying its major components and showing how they should be put together. A fully digital enterprise is a powerful combination of people, technology, and organizing ability that is well suited to today’s economic and social environment. The article discusses how to design and implement an “actor-oriented organizational architecture” for those organizations wanting to develop their digitally based capabilities.
  • Koch & Windsperger (Seeing through the network: competitive advantage in the digital economy) discuss how firms can achieve a sustained competitive advantage in the digital economy. The article outlines a network-centric view that explains the competitive environment of firms being confronted with digital technology and its affordances. Based on the network-centric view, firms may achieve competitive advantage by actively shaping the digital environment and by co-creating value among interconnected firms.
  • Ebert & Freibichler (Nudge management: applying behavioural science to increase knowledge worker productivity) introduce the concept of nudge management: the application of insights from behavioral science to design organizational contexts so as to optimize fast thinking and unconscious behavior from employees in line with the objectives of the organization. Nudge management is particularly useful for knowledge workers who are at the heart of the digital economy.
  • Yonatany (Platforms, ecosystems, and the internationalization of highly digitized organizations) discusses how highly digitized organizations potentially can grow faster internationally than traditional organizations. They do so by providing a platform and by fostering an ecosystem of complementary third-party developers, some of which are foreign.

—Børge Obel and Charles Snow, Guest Editors


Business models, value capture, and the digital enterprise

David J. Teece and Greg Linden

Journal of Organization Design 2017 6:8
Published on: 24 August 2017


Designing the digital organization

Charles C. Snow, Øystein Devik Fjeldstad and Arthur M. Langer

Journal of Organization Design 2017 6:7
Published on: 13 June 2017


Seeing through the network: Competitive advantage in the digital economy

Thorsten Koch and Josef Windsperger

Journal of Organization Design 2017 6:6
Published on: 19 May 2017

Point of View

Nudge management: applying behavioural science to increase knowledge worker productivity

Philip Ebert and Wolfgang Freibichler

Journal of Organization Design 2017 6:4
Published on: 21 March 2017

Point of View

Platforms, ecosystems, and the internationalization of highly digitized organizations

Moshe Yonatany

Journal of Organization Design 2017 6:2
Published on: 1 March 2017