Don’t digitalize your research visit: a week at NHH

By Ed.

25 April 2022 12:27

Don’t digitalize your research visit: a week at NHH

While there are many things that digitalization can enable us to achieve, digitalizing your research visits might mean missing out on some essential social factors of collaboration, notes digitalization expert Casandra Grundstrom, who recently visited NHH and DIG.

Since their time as Ph.D. students part of a large European consortium, Assistant Professor Vidya Oruganti from NHH and Associate Professor Casandra Grundstrom from NTNU have been striving to work together at the interdisciplinary intersection of management and information systems.

During week 14, they finally had the long-awaited opportunity to collaborate as NHH’s Department of Strategy and Management hosted Casandra for a research visit.

Her research falls within the information systems and health informatics disciplines, and she is predominantly interested in the human factors of digital transformation.

It was an unusually sunny week, yet a productive one for the pair as they set out to advance their work together on a literature study of collective action—a topic that affords both the management and information systems perspectives.

Collective action can be commonly understood as the goal-seeking behaviour of two or more individuals for a shared outcome, scaling to various levels from everyday people to society to organizations. Together, they seek to establish the patterns of structure, goals, and artifacts such as social media for triggering, enabling, or supporting the digitalization of collective action.

Casandra also had a chance to present in the department’s weekly Wednesday seminar series, where she shared her preliminary research findings from a systematic mapping study of industry-level digital transformation.

Although the research is still in its formative stages, several (un)intentional properties of industry change are readily apparent.

For an industry actor, some key takeaways are:

  • the time digital transformation takes tells a lot about the maturity of industry-level change,
  • being innovative does not automatically equate to being transformative,
  • variances of who and what stimulates digital transformation comes from:
    • top-down decision-making from Chief Digital Officers or country-led digitalization initiatives,
    • organizational awareness for data-driven opportunities or business model shifts,
    • and triggers from worldwide disruptions.  

As the pandemic has taught us, there are many things that digitalization can enable us to achieve; work from home is one fine example of just this. Casandra notes, however, that you should not digitalize your research visits as you miss out on some essential social factors of collaboration!

For more information about her research or queries about collaboration opportunities, you can reach her at: casandra.a.grundstrom@ntnu.no.

Casandra Grundstrom
Associate Professor and Digital Enterprise Coordinator
Department of Computer Science
Trondheim, NTNU

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