DIG For Students

DIG For Students

Would you like to be a part of DIG - Norway's leading research center on digital innovation and sustainable growth?

We are seeking ambitious master's students interested in exploring topics related to digital innovation and artificial intelligence. As a participant, students will contribute to DIG and the advancement of knowledge through collaboration with our business partners. 

As a DIG student, you will join the DIGdeeper master's program, which provides access to activities, support, resources, and connections with DIG partners. Our students are also integrated into a digital community, benefiting from research tutorials, Q&A sessions, NDAs, guidelines, etc.

With the agreement of a supervisor, students may apply for financial support for travel, data collection, and other research-related expenses. You may submit your work in either English or Norwegian.


  • Applied Network Analysis and Business Intelligence

    Applied Network Analysis and Business Intelligence

    THEME 1: Applied Network Analysis and Business Intelligence

    The dynamic nature of social network formation requires the development of multidisciplinary methods for effective business analytics. Research in this direction is motivated by the necessity to overcome the limitations of using analytical methods from originally disconnected research domains, such as graph theory, algorithm theory, data analytics, and so on. Master students with a strong quantitative background and a passion for social network analysis are welcome to apply. Prospective work is related to the following areas: organizational networks, social media networks, and complex networks.  
    Contact person: ivan.belik@nhh.no
  • Adoption of technologies and innovations

    Adoption of technologies and innovations

    THEME 2: Adoption of technologies and innovations

    Digital innovations and new services are of little value unless they are adopted by end-users. As the majority of new products and services in fact fail, it is crucial for both commercial firms and government institutions to understand the drivers and barriers of new service adoption, as well as how to change consumer behavior in digital environments. 

    DIG will study how organizations can increase commercial success by lowering consumer adoption barriers, removing uncertainty and ‘nudging’ consumers to change their behavior in digital environments and complex service systems. Digital services are radically different from traditional services in their reliance on platforms, co-creation with other consumers, and sharing/subscription rather than ownership. Together with industry partners, DIG will offer new perspectives and tools for understanding and influencing how consumer’s think and act in such complex decision contexts.

    DIG will also focus on how organizations can build and maintain trust when customer interactions are primarily digital, as well as study how consumers react to the use and application of personal data in such interactions.  

    Current projects on consumer adoption include:

    • New approaches and perspectives for understanding consumer adoption
    • Consumer reactions to sharing-economy services
    • Consumer adoption of new sustainable products and business models
    • The different facets of digital trust in adoption of novel services
    • Reactance and resistance to the use of end-users personal data
    • The role of consumer movement in decision-making
    • Consumer interaction with robots/AI
    • The role of VR in destination marketing
    • The effects of quantification on consumer behavior
    • Improving decisions and changing behavior via digital nudging
  • Creating and capturing value in the digital era

    Creating and capturing value in the digital era

    Theme 3: Creating and Capturing Value in the Digital Era

    This Theme will lay the groundwork by defining and conceptualizing digital business model innovation and its antecedents, barriers, facilitators and impact on firm performance.

    Subproject 3.1 Digital business models: barriers, facilitators and performance outcomes

    The far-reaching consequences of disruption deeply affect established firms which need to rethink their traditional business models and how they can create, deliver, communicate and capture value in a digital economy. Specifically, we need an empirical analysis of how digitalization affects investments in business assets, and we need to define different types of digital business models and the reasons underlying their different profitability levels.

    Specifically, we will combine (i) qualitative case studies conducted in close collaboration with industry partners (e.g., Telenor, EVRY, Posten) to establish and refine hypotheses and (ii) survey design among Norwegian service providers and registry data to test the resulting hypotheses. The findings of the qualitative and quantitative analyses will shed light on the linkages between digitalization, business model innovation and firm performance. Our results provide a deep understanding of these issues which we expect to significantly contribute to the theoretical advancement of the field as well as provide managers with a framework on how to design, implement and manage digital BMI, i.e. value creation, value delivery, value communication, and value capturing.

    Possible topics for master theses include (but are not limited to):

    • Sustainability: investigating the linkages between sustainability and digitalization, that is, how does the use of digital technology help facilitate sustainable business models
    • Social value creation: How does the use of digital technology help start-ups or charitable organizations to create social business models (with the dual mission of tackling a social challenge as well as being profitable)
    • Internationalization: How does the use of digital technology impact how firms expand abroad? Why do some digital firms succeed in going global while others fail?


    Recognizing that it is customers’ adoption and usage decisions that determine the success of new products and, ultimately, of innovators themselves, a research team at NHH – Norwegian School of Economics has developed a novel, outside-in and bottom-up approach to evaluating innovation efforts – the Norwegian Innovation Index (NII): The world’s first customer-based ranking of most innovative firms!

    NII is a theoretically derived measurement instrument that rests on two assumptions:

    1. countries cannot be innovative — companies can; and
    2. leaders and experts are not the final judges of innovations—customers are.

    Through a carefully designed procedure, NII captures both firms’ innovations and customers’ perceptions of changes in value co-creation that result from these innovations. The focus is on assessing perceived firm innovativeness and on examining the effects of perceived firm innovativeness on firms’ strategic positioning and customer loyalty. Today, the NII-approach is adopted in five other countries and operated by leading business school: Sweden (Karlstad business school; Denmark, Århus University-business school; Finland, Hanken Business school; Belgium, Hasselt University - business school, and USA, Fordham Garibaldi School of Business.

    From the annual survey we collect data from all countries and store them in a database at NHH Norwegian School of Economics organized by country, year, industry, firm, and constructs. Data is, on request, made available for research.

  • Strategy in / for digital ecosystems

    Strategy in / for digital ecosystems

    THEME 4: Strategy in and for Digital Ecosystems  

    In a world with increasing levels of digitalization, we see that organization often operate within so-called digital ecosystems. Thus, understanding digital ecosystems is relevant because it represents a new way of organizing economic activity, and because this new way is rapidly capturing “market shares” from alternative and more traditional ways of organizing and coordinating economic activities. By traditional ways we mean those methods of organization and coordination that rely on integrated hierarchical solutions within one diversified firm, as transactions between independent parties in a market, or by regular alliances or collaboration-projects.

    What sets digital ecosystems apart is that they typically arise in situations where a range of different technologies and areas of expertise are needed to interact (seamlessly and continually) to realize a value creation potential or some specific value proposition. These technologies and areas of expertise are possessed by more than one organization, often with diverse backgrounds, which requires coordination. This coordination is mostly achieved by standardizing the interfaces between the different modules of the system. If this interface is respected, modules will work together even if those working on the different modules remain independent firms. Data and information can flow unrestricted across modules, participants in the system can specialize on different modules and innovate and experiment on their own - without the need for permission or funding from some central decision maker. As a result, digital ecosystems have in many settings demonstrated an ability to innovate faster, specialize more, and create bundles of complementary goods and services that users’ value more effectively than alternative arrangements

    Despite this common understanding, academics and practitioners struggle with several core aspects of digital ecosystems which ultimately affects their ability to create and capture value from operating in such systems. On one hand, the large variation, complexity and dynamism of these systems make it difficult to understand how they are born/created, how they function, how they compete and change, and how to navigate and position within them. Or in more general terms: how to think about strategy in and for digital ecosystems.   

    Some suggestive themes based on ongoing work at DIG could be: 

    Organizational identity paradoxes within Ecosystem settings: How do top managers perceive ecosystems? Do they strategize differently when they are part of an ecosystem vs when they are on their own? If so, how? What do they do differently vis-a-vis consumers when they are part of an ecosystem vs when they are not? 

    Types of Ecosystems from a consumer purchasing point of view. What are the different types of ecosystems for a consumer and how does that influence their purchasing choices? What does this mean for the participating firms within this ecosystem? What kind of collaborative (or competitive) dynamics may this give rise to? 

    Contact person: vidya.oruganti@nhh.no  

  • Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    THEME 5: Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    Digital transformation almost invariably implies some degree of organizational change. Radical change and innovation has proven particularly challenging for well-established firms with a history of success as they tend to develop structural and cultural inertia. In this stream of research, the overarching question is how established firms can develop their capacity to transform, renew and radically innovate.

    Master thesis topics for the autumn 2024 are:

    • Effective Teams

      Effective Teams

      Teams are often used to ensure efficient deliveries and sharing of highly specialized knowledge. Globalization, modern technology and the need to solve the “grand challenges” imply an increasing reliance on cooperation within and across organizations and borders. We seek to better understand collaboration in this context. For example, how will team members react to working with an AI as a team member, how can cooperation across companies succeed?

      Contact person: Therese Egeland

    • The role executive boards in radical change and innovation

      The role executive boards in radical change and innovation

      The role of the Board of Directors (BoD) has evolved from monitoring performance, controlling the financial aspects and approving strategy to becoming increasingly involved in and responsible for the strategic direction of the firm, not the least in terms of ensuring necessary renewal of the established firm. As such, the BoD is increasingly perceived as a valuable and important change agent. This project seeks to explore how BoDs can initiate and influence strategic change, renewal and innovation, preferably driven by sustainability needs/goals. We are primarily seeking students who specialize in Strategy and Management (STR) and preferably have taken a course in strategic change and/or innovation and with an interest in qualitative case studies.

      Contact person: Inger Stensaker

    • Purpose-driven leadership

      Purpose-driven leadership

      A company’s mission has the potential to engage employees in the pursuit of goals and outcomes. Purpose-driven leadership focuses on the impact that the organization’s work has on society and others. We are interested in how purpose-driven leaders use the mission as a source to motivate employees and the challenges that they face.

      Contact person: Alexander Sandvik

    • HR for the future

      HR for the future

      We are interested in how technological and societal changes have implications for HR-activities. Digitalization and AI provide new sets of tools for managing work. Parallel, the aging population and demands for sustainable development place pressures on organizations. We are seeking students who specialize in Strategy and Management (STR) and preferably have taken a course in human resource management.  

      Contact person: Karen Olsen

  • Omstillingsbarometer


    Master thesis in collaboration with DIG og Abelia

    Abelia is the national association within the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) for knowledge and technology enterprises. We organize approximately 2,800 enterprises, representing over 65,000 full-time equivalent positions.

    Each year, Abelia's Omstillingsbarometer measures Norway's ability to adapt relative to other countries. In the most recent barometer,  Norway is positioned in the middle of the pack, trailing behind several of our Nordic neighbors. Although the Norwegian economy is performing well today, there are several aspects of it that weaken our ability to handle economic downturns or future societal challenges.

    Based on this adaptability barometer, Abelia is interested in exploring the following themes, which could be relevant for a master's thesis as part of the Digital Innovation for sustainable Growth research center:

    • Technology Utilization in Business: Given that the overall trend is downward, there must be many laggards - what characterizes them?
    • Research Effort in Business: How much do companies spend on research vs. development - can we observe performance differences?
    • Access to Expertise: The impact of generative AI on bridging the competence gap.
    • Sustainability and Profitability in Norwegian Tech Companies: Is there genuinely a twin transition occurring?
    • Societal Accounting for Foreign Tech Talents: An exploration into the economic and social impact of international tech experts in Norway.
    • Internationalization of Norwegian Tech: What characterizes those who succeed on a global scale?
    • Future Niche Markets: Investigating the sectors that will sustain us in the future.


To apply for admission as a DIG Master Student, please complete the online application form, including your grade transcripts and a concise application letter (maximum 1 page). Your letter should detail your background, motivation for studying your chosen topic(s), preliminary research questions, and the planned date for thesis submission. 

Please note that having a supervisor from the DIG research center is a mandatory requirement. Your application is strengthened when you have discussed possible topics with DIG faculty. For an overview of NHH faculty associated with DIG, see here. 


  • A dedicated DIG advisor specialized in your topic.
  • An advisor with connections to partners and networks, who can often assist with gaining necessary access. In some cases, you may be able to base your thesis on existing data.
  • You will be part of DIG, a leading Norwegian research center focused on your area of study.
  • Financial support of up to NOK 10,000 per thesis for travel and other expenses, subject to supervisor approval. 


  • Average grade B
  • Excellent communication skills are required. Students are expected to present their findings to the research group and/or business partners. Additionally, students will have to write a blog post for publication on DIG's website. 

Application deadlines  

  • To write your thesis in the autumn semester: 15 March
  • To write your thesis in the spring semester: 15 October