Research provides new insights into the digital transformation of business models

Tuesday 13 Sep 22

Research from Matthias Trischler’s PhD project “Digital transformation of business models: New insights into a contemporary organizational change process” can assists managers in legacy firms by providing new insights into the digital transformation of business models. 

We asked Matthias Trischler about his research:

Give us an elevator pitch of your project

Digital transformation, and digital business model innovation in particular, will be the cornerstone of a competitive future for many established firms from traditional industries. Yet, research repeatedly finds that the majority of digital transformations fail and that many incumbents have a “wait and see” attitude. 

My research assists managers in legacy firms by providing new insights into the digital transformation of business models. Concretely, one of my articles lays the foundation by discussing and defining the construct of digital business model innovation, while the remaining three articles cover the three stages of the organizational change process: 

digital readiness

What problem does your work aim to solve?

The digital divide between Big Tech firms and digital-born start-ups on the one side and established firms in traditional industries on the other is real and growing. In order to remain competitive, incumbents in many cases should aim to adopt a digital business model, yet the majority of digital transformations fail. 

Academia has potentially much to offer, however, research on digital business model innovations remains in its infancy, with the phenomenon still poorly understood. 

My research thus has two primary objectives: (1) to increase clarity in digital business model innovation research; and (2) to generate new insights – theoretical and practical – into digital business model innovation.

What are the main findings of your research?

Given the low success rate of digital transformations, I presumed that the path to a digital business model innovation for many established firms must be replete with pitfalls that my insights help to overcome. 

First, I provide a new definition to enhance construct clarity in digital business model innovation research and to avoid misunderstanding the concept. 
Second, I highlight relevant digital readiness dimensions to prevent established firms investing in or prioritizing “wrong” dimensions. 
Third, I propose a dynamic model for digital innovation units to increase the likelihood that incumbents “learn” from these units. 
And, finally, I develop a conceptual model that assists digital platform operators in planning and executing detailed implementation activities, to avert the common issue of firms having “good” strategies but “poor” execution.

PhD defence

Matthias Trischler will defend his PhD project on 23 September 2022.

See more about Matthias' PhD defence

Published papers mentioned above

Digital business model innovation: toward construct clarity and future research directions
Exploring the relationship between multi-dimensional digital readiness and digital transformation outcomes
Managing Digital Innovation Units—Life Cycle, Transitions, and Growth Traps
Digital Platform Tactics: How to Implement Platform Strategy Over Time | Journal of Business Models (aau.dk)

About research at DTU Entrepreneurship in general

We focus on evidence-based research to tackle a wide range of issues and provide opportunities for social and economic change.

Do you want to explore more about research at DTU Entrepreneurship

Reach out to Professor, Head of Research, Jason Li-Ying

Research areas