[ 973DLHRCCAS19 ] SE Digital Transformation: Continuous Change and Ambidexterity

Workload Education level Study areas Responsible person Hours per week Coordinating university
3 ECTS M2 - Master's programme 2. year Business Administration Claudio Biscaro 2 hpw Johannes Kepler University Linz
Detailed information
Pre-requisites KS Advances in Leadership, Human Resource Management, and Change
Original study plan Master's programme Management 2023W
Objectives This course aims to:

  • Provide students with a sound understanding of the nature and dynamics of technological changes and their impact on firms’ resources and capabilities.
  • Equip students with knowledge on different sources of inertia, including organizational path dependence, commitments to customers, and resource allocation mechanisms, as well as managerial cognition and identity.
  • Acquaint students with the concept of ambidexterity and the different approaches and pathways of how firms can become ambidextrous and balance exploration and exploitation over time.
  • Qualify student to reflect on and integrate different theoretical perspectives in order to analyze real-life cases and eventually make well-considered recommendations for action.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, the students will be able to:

  • LO1: Classify technological changes and their different impact on incumbent firms.
  • LO2: Compare different factors and the underlying theoretical mechanisms that impede incumbent adaptation to technological change.
  • LO3: Evaluate the suitability of different ambidexterity approaches and other strategic levers that can be used to facilitate change and renewal.
  • LO4: Develop theoretically founded suggestions how firms can counteract organizational inertia, balance exploration and exploitation, and effectively respond to changes in the external business environment.
  • LO5: Demonstrate the ability to analyze complex cases of companies from different industries and subsequently formulate and present concise, well-considered recommendations for action.
  • LO6: Discuss current research papers on incumbent inertia and ambidexterity and connect them to existing concepts and theories.
Subject This course provides a comprehensive introduction into the intricacies of incumbent adaptation to technological change. Upon successful completion of this course, students will possess advanced knowledge of the nature and dynamics of technological changes and their impact of established firms. The course focuses on the various factors that impede incumbent adaptation but also discusses how firms can overcome these inertial forces and successfully navigate through turbulent and discontinuous times. As such, students will get acquainted with the concept of ambidexterity which refers to a firm’s capacity to simultaneously explore and exploit, and the ability to implement both incremental and revolutionary change. While the course considers the general challenges and solutions of incumbent adaptation to shifting environmental conditions, it particularly focuses on the nascent digital transformation and how established firms can master it.
Criteria for evaluation A total of 100 points can be achieved.

The range of assessment methods for the points distribution consists of:

Individual term paper of approx. 6000 words: 70% (max. 70 points)
Students in-class participation: 30% (max. 30 points)

For the term paper students need wo write a in-depth cases analysis. They are required to analyze the situation using theoretical concepts of the course and develop a comprehensive strategic recommendation. Attendance is mandatory for the entire duration of the seminar. It is expected that students actively prepare for each session by reading the assigned cases as well as articles and book chapters.

Synchronization of learning outcomes and assessments:

  • L01: Term paper
  • L02: Term paper
  • L03: Course participation assessment
  • L04: Term paper I Course participation
  • L05: Term paper I Course participation
  • L06: Course participation assessment
Methods The learning and teaching strategy is designed to develop knowledge and understanding in both theoretical and practical perspectives. In addition to self-directed learning and literature study, the teaching and learning methods include formal lecture and class discussion, interactive role plays and seminar exercises. Moreover, several case studies are used to demonstrate theoretical concepts in real life business situations and to put students in the position of a decision maker.
Language English
Study material The relevant materials can be retrieved from Moodle and/or will be announced in class.
Changing subject? No
Further information For quality assurance and improvement purposes, please participate in all JKU course evaluations and surveys!
On-site course
Maximum number of participants 25
Assignment procedure Assignment according to priority