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Ivang, R., Rask, M., & Hinson, R. (2009). B2B Inter-Organisational Digitalisation Strategies - Towards Interaction Based Approach. Direct Marketing/Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 3(4).

Outstanding Paper Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2010

Purpose: Digital technology is increasingly important for businesses as it has the capability to enable, support and sometimes influence the overall strategic direction of the corporation. This paper investigates b2b inter-organisational digitalisation strategies in one of Denmark’s biggest companies with an annual turnover of 3 billion EUR and over 30.000 employees. We specifically seek to understand to what extent the widely used strategic continuum (planning – incremental) is sufficient to understand the process of creating inter-organisational digitalisation strategies in the case.

Methodology: We utilise Degree of Freedom Analysis (DFA). DFA is in essence a “pattern-matching” between theoretical propositions and observations in a set of data. Inline with the DFA tradition we conducted in-depth interviews and finally the results and interpretations were returned to the respondents for final feedback.

Findings: We conclude in the article that a strategic continuum spanning planning to interaction, where the incremental approach is in the middle is more powerful as an analytical tool in relation to the specific case. The case further illustrated that the actors in the empiric context utilising the digital technology successfully mostly organised their strategic work as described in the interaction approach to digitalisation strategy.

Practical value: Study demonstrates a pragmatic route to deepening digitalization success in large firm with considerable e-business investments.

Originality/Value: Documenting the need for new thinking and theorising in the area of digitalisation strategy. The article opens the organisational black box relating to how strategy actually is performed and, thus, helps to develop a more holistic understanding of how strategies are developed and implemented. Lastly this is one of the few studies utilizing degree of freedom analysis to understand digitalization strategy.

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