AMD SPECIAL ISSUE – CALL FOR PAPERS: “Digital Transformation”

Starts:  Dec 12, 2018 12:25 PM (ET)
Ends:  Jan 15, 2019 12:00 AM (ET)

Academy of Management Discoveries (AMD)


“Digital Transformation: What Is New If Anything?”


Submission period: 1 December 2018 to 15 January 2019

We anticipate publishing the Special Issue in 2020


Gianvito Lanzolla (Cass Business School, UK)

Annika Lorenz (Utrecht University, the Netherlands)

Ella Miron-Spektor (Technion, Israel and Cass Business School, London)

Melissa Schilling (NYU Stern School of Business, USA)

Giulia Solinas (Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, Munich, Germany)

Christopher Tucci (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland)



This Special Issue has the overarching goal to publish original research works that contribute to the ongoing debate on whether established assumptions in extant management theories still hold true when faced with the pervasive diffusion and adoption of digital technologies. There are several digital technologies—e.g., Internet of Things, 5G, Cloud, Distributed Ledgers/Blockchain, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence—which, in isolation or jointly, provide new capabilities to economic actors. Such capabilities are often described as “transformational” and hereafter we refer to “digital transformation” as the wider institutional, strategic, organizational and implications for economic actors of digital technologies’ diffusion and adoption.

Specifically, for this Special Issue, we solicit submissions on the following topics: (A) digital transformation, institutions and strategy; (B) digital transformation and business models, (C) digital transformation, organizational learning and innovation; (D) digital transformation, working conditions, and individual career choices, (E) digital transformation, capabilities, and cognition and (F) digital transformation and strategic decision making.

By shedding light on these relationships, we hope to build more systematic evidence on whether digital transformation requires modifying some assumptions of extant management theories (perhaps even to add new assumptions?) or whether we should more simply just calibrate extant management theories for the digital age.

For each level of analysis, we provide below some examples of questions that we hope to address in this Special Issue, although authors should feel free to explore related topics.

  1. Digital transformation, institutions and strategy

- How do regulations and digital technologies co-evolve? Who are the major players in adapting regulations to face a more digital world? What are the processes by which individuals and organizations come to an agreement about needed regulatory changes?

- How do regulation and digital transformation change the influence of economies of scale, and thereby increase or decrease the likely concentration of markets?

- How do digitalized organizations arbitrage between different regulations to design their entry strategies?

- In what industries is digitalization more likely to increase the use of a platform model? Does digitalization facilitate innovation in such industries, or does platformization constrain the scope of potential innovation?

- How do these changes influence the number and diversity of competitors in an industry? What do we need to understand about consumer welfare with respect to these changes?

- Can intermediaries and technological platforms succeed as “private” or “delegated regulators”?


  1. Digital transformation and business models

- What are the mechanisms that organizations should activate to reconfigure a business model to face digital transformation? Do they change across industries? How do organizations coordinate multiple business models wherein some may be digitalized and others not?

- Does digitalization increase the frequency at which firms introduce new products or platforms, or the scale and scope of their collaboration with other individuals or organizations? How does digital transformation enable new organizational forms and new ways of thinking about organizational boundaries when there is an increasing level of connectivity among products?

- Is digitalization more likely to transform organizations in some industries more than others? Are there particular types of organizations better positioned to benefit from digitalization?


  1. Digital transformation, organizational learning, and innovation

- Does digitalization of organizations diminish, substitute or reinforce the role of geographical distance in competition and collaboration? How does digitalization transform the way to innovate in the large multi-location firm? Does digitalization increase the likelihood of knowledge (and innovation) spillovers?

- What is the effect of digital transformation on organizational learning and knowledge creation? How to integrate internal knowledge of employees and external expertise from new working arrangements? How much does the use of digital technologies affect knowledge transfer? How should organizations balance new internal capabilities with outsourced skills accessible via platforms and communities?

- How much do trust and personal network ties (still) affect the creation of organizational knowledge? Are there digital substitutes for the interpersonal trust and knowledge that we have typically assumed emerge only through frequent interpersonal contact? Can “distributed trust” be applied in the interpersonal work environment?


  1. Digital transformation, working conditions, and individual career choices

- How does digital transformation change the mix of workers that we need in particular industries, and what are the implications for training and education? How do institutional traits, such as culture, influence the (new) composition of internal and external workers?

- Does the use of new working arrangements affect the degree of internal specialization of an organisation?

- How does digital transformation affect career choices? How does it reflect on organizational performances?

- What is the effect of the use of digital technologies on friendships and informal communication in organizations? How does digital transformation shape reciprocity, empathy and emotional capabilities within the organization?


  1. Digital transformation, capabilities, and cognition

- What is the role of digital tools in individuals’ searching capabilities?

- Do digital tools extend or limit individual cognition? Do we observe any effect on cognition and framing at the organizational level?

- What are the effects of artificial intelligence and digital technologies on creativity, imagination, and intuition?

- How should organizations overcome resistance in using digital technologies and AI?


  1. Digital transformation and strategic decision making

- How does the use of AI and digital tools influence strategic decision-making?

- Does the support of AI and other digital technologies increase the scope and accuracy of managerial attention and reduce errors? What known biases may digital technologies reduce or exacerbate? For example, does training AI systems on flawed heuristics amplify prior biases? Are there new biases that digital transformation may create?

- Which parts of the strategic decision-making process are likely to be outsourced to intelligent machines and what are the likely effects on organizational performance?

- How will the role of managers change if decision-making is outsourced to machines?


Submission and review process

To submit a manuscript, please visit Please remember to select Manuscript Type as Special Issue: Digital Transformation: What is new if anything? from the drop down menu. Manuscripts should be formatted according to the AMD Style Guide. Authors whose papers receive a revise and re-submit will be invited to a special issue workshop organized by the Guest Editors. At this workshop, authors will be asked to present their revised paper (first revision). The double-blind, peer-review process will be rigorously performed according to AMD tradition and guidelines.

In the spirit of the Academy of Management Discoveries of promoting exploratory empirical research on phenomena not yet adequately theorized, Regardless of topic and method, we expect contributions to the Special Issue to be empirical; we cannot accept theoretical papers.