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The Socio-Technical Dimension of Inertia in Digital Transformations

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Title:The Socio-Technical Dimension of Inertia in Digital Transformations
Authors:Schmid, Alexander M.
Recker, Jan
vom Brocke, Jan
Date Issued:04 Jan 2017
Abstract:When organizations undertake large transformation initiatives enabled by information technology, these efforts are often hampered by inertia. The literature suggests that inertia plays a dual role in organizations: it is both required for organizational efficiency and an antecedent of resistance to change. While traditionally inertia is believed to reside in human actors, we suggest that inertia is rooted in multiple facets – in routines, resources such as social agents, and also technology – and plays on multiple levels – at individual, group, and organizational ones. In this essay, we propose a new conceptualization of inertia that encompasses and integrates these elements. Our model suggests that inertia occurs as path-dependent rigidity in organizational behavior through the coalescence of social entities with technology artifacts. We illustrate our new understanding of inertia by revisiting two case vignettes of inertia and impeded digital transformations.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Digital Innovation Minitrack

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