Enabling digital development: A multiple case study of Norwegian companies
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Advancements in digital technologies offer companies unprecedented opportunities for changing and improving their businesses, and companies around the world are trying to initiate their digital development in order to reap the benefit of these opportunities. In this thesis, we identified a lack of practical insight for “how” organizations can navigate as they are developing digitally. To answer “how” organizations are developing digitally, we studied strategic decisions associated with the organizations' ability to initiate and succeed with their digital development. The guiding research question is: “How are Norwegian organizations enabling their digital development?” To answer this research question, we conducted a literature review, followed by an empirical data collection through semi-structured interviews with chief executives. The case companies were companies which have been and are developing digitally. The interview question guide was based on a literature review on how organizations can digitally develop, and the collected data resulted in the identification of seven strategic decisions. Following a framework which considered the relationship between the strategic decision and the outcome of the decision lead to three decisions which we considered as an enabler for organizations to initiate and succeed with their digital development. Thus, answering the research question on how Norwegian organizations are enabling their digital development, and providing insight on “how” organizations can digitally develop. Additionally, we linked these three strategic decisions to “what” digital transformation is – providing a framework for digital development in organizations. The thesis concludes by considering the implication of the three decisions, and to how these decisions relate to other companies. Based on the insight, we believe companies can make more knowledge-driven decisions - potentially speeding up their digital development. Finally, due to the exploratory nature of our thesis, suggestions for future research are identified and presented.