For students

For students

Do you want to be a part of DIG - Norway's leading operating research center on Digital Innovation for sustainable Growth?

We are looking for ambitious master students interested in digital innovation. Master students who will contribute to DIG or the DIG RaCE research project and knowledge development in cooperation with our business partners (see figure 1). You may write in English or Norwegian.


  • Methodology developments

    Methodology developments

    THEME 1: Methodology developments

    We are currently working on updating information about this theme.

  • 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. We will tackle these questions from an integral perspective including key issues such as how policymakers best can tax digital business models, how can managers efficiently and effectively capture data from various sources (digital and analog). We will also address the labor implications of digital business models on the workforce. The qualitative and quantitative findings of the three subprojects under Theme 3 aid managers on their path to digital transformation and business model innovation and allow policymakers to gauge the risks and impact of a digital economy from a welfare state and labor market perspective.

    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.

    Subproject 3.2  Taxation of Digital Economy

    In this subproject we address the bold question of how to tax the digital economy. Digital firms are not characterized by one single business model. What unites them is that they collect data that has commercial value. Some of these firms are platform firms that cater to several customer groups whereas others cater to only one customer group. How they collect data varies and the use of data also varies. In order to address how to tax digital firms, we use theoretical models of algebra to analyze how taxation affect behavior and compliance. Insights from these models will be used as stepping-stones to design a tax system that aims at levelling the playing field of taxation in a world with digital firms. An important part of the project is to analyze how to avoid barter, which is illegal in most countries. Some of the largest multinationals like Facebook and Google, for example, have barter as an important part of their business model. Much like the OECD initiative to tax the digital economy, the project aims to deliver proposals for applied tax policy towards digital firms that in addition fosters self-compliance. Also different from the OECD initiative is that policy is carved out from modelling behavior.

    Thus, in an unprecedented effort, we seek insights through models on how such firms react to taxation. These insights will then be used as a stepping stone to design a tax system that levels the playing field of taxation in a digital economy and avoids bartering and, finally, that shows how digital footprints can be made part of the national tax base. The end outcome is to form proposals for applying tax policies with respect to digital firms.

    Subproject 3.3 Effects of Digitalization on Job Creation and Sustainability

    Despite the global concern to understand the labor market impacts of automation, we lack causal evidence on the impact of automation on workers and the distribution of consequences across workers for instance due to a change in the contractual relationships between employers and employees. Further, it is unclear whether the countervailing force of task and job creation is sufficiently large to offset the job destruction caused by the current wave of robotization. To address these issues, we first study the causal consequences of automation across the distribution of workers and how potential job destruction can be offset by the creation of new tasks. In a second step, we focus directly on how new policies can be used to foster restructuring and recovery from job destruction following technological change.

    To address the above knowledge gaps and make inferences on the possible causal relationships between technological change and restructuring of firms and how the labor market and workers are affected by such changes, we will combine highly suitable and unique Norwegian register data provided by Norway’s National Bureau of Statistics (SSB) at the individual- and area-levels with innovative use of well-established causal identification methods. As an output the policy brief ‘Replaced by Robots’ will inform policymakers, educational institutions, unions, business managers, and households about the labor market and welfare impacts of automation and the implications for inequality by identifying workers who will lose or gain when firms become more digitized.

  • 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.   

  • RaCE: Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    RaCE: Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    THEME 5: race: 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.

    The research theme includes the ongoing RaCE (Radical Technology-Driven Change in Established Firms) project, which is a four-year research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council in collaboration with Deloitte, DNB, Læredal Medical and Telenor. RaCE conducts comparative analyses of contemporary organizational solutions aiming for radical change and innovation, documenting their inherent benefits and challenges. A series of case studies on the ambidextrous solution, agility, partnerships, and ecosystems is being developed through close collaboration with industry partners and other firms that attempt to build their long-term capacity for radical change and innovation.

    This theme also covers research on how radical change can come about through novel and innovative cooperation between the public and private sector. For many businesses sharing big data is envisioned as the “new goldmine”. In the Scandinavian countries, the public sector has built up unique data registers with significant potential within and across the public and private sector. Key partners in this research stream are Tax Norway and Finance Norway.

    Master thesis topics for fall 2021 are:

    • Building innovation capacity through partnerships

      Building innovation capacity through partnerships

      Fundamental changes in the external environment; technological development, increased focus on sustainability, changing demographics etc., put high demands on well-established firms and public entities to develop innovation capacity. Increasingly, firms and public entities realize they need to open up and enter into partnerships to be able to transform their organizations in time. This research project seeks to explore innovative partnerships in three different streams:

      (1) study how public entities collaborate with private firms to innovate,

      (2) study multi-collaboration partnerships in developing new and innovative value propositions, and

      (3) study how an incumbent firm (BKK) can transform its innovative capabilities through partnerships.

      Contact person: Christine Meyer 

    • Effective Teams

      Effective Teams

      Teams are often used to ensure efficient deliveries and sharing of highly specialized knowledge. However, globalization and modern technology imply increasing reliance on more “dynamic” and agile forms of cooperation. What makes teams work effectively in these settings? For example, how do relationships between team members form and develop over time, and how can leaders facilitate for trust and a psychological safe work climate?

      Contact person: Vidar Schei 

    • HR in Digital Times

      HR in Digital Times

      Technological changes, such as digitalisation, may influence the organisation of work in profound ways. Digitalisation may replace work tasks and create demands for new skills. Furthermore, it may allow new ways to recruit, control, and reward employees. We want to address how technological changes affect the organisation of work, including digitalisation of HR activities and the use of HR-analytics.

      Contact person: Karen Modesta Olsen 

    • Leadership Drivers of firm innovation and performance

      Leadership Drivers of firm innovation and performance

      A company’s mission has the potential to engage employees in the pursuit of goals and outcomes. We want to examine drivers that engage employees in innovative behaviors at the workplace. Especially when leadership unfold in a combination of physical and digital work or home context. We have collected survey data, and we are interested in supervising master students that could help us analyze the data.

      Contact person: Alexander M. Sandvik 

    • Managing Radical Change and Innovation through Ambidexterity

      Managing Radical Change and Innovation through Ambidexterity

      Technological development requires that well-established firms innovate and develop new business that potentially cannibalizes the existing business. One way to deal with this is to establish an ambidextrous organization, referring to a separate organizational unit with responsibility for innovations. An underlying premise is that the new unit develops distinct capabilities, processes, and a separate identity. This research project seeks to understand the various ways separate units create value and contribute to renewing the established firm. 

      Contact person: Inger G. Stensaker 


To apply to be admitted as a DIG Master Student, please fill out the online application form where you include grade transcripts and a brief application letter (max 1 page) with information about your background, motivation to study the topic(s) of interest, preliminary research questions, and date for thesis submission.


  • A dedicated DIG advisor on your topic
  • An advisor with relationships to partners and networks, who often can help you with access if required. Sometimes you can write your thesis on existing data.
  • You’ll will be part of DIG – a leading Norwegian research center on your topic
  • Support of up to NOK 10.000 per thesis for travelling and other expenses, after agreement with supervisor.


  • Average grade B
  • Excellent communication skills. Students are expected to present their results to the research group and / or business partners, and will be challenged to write a blog to be published on DIG’s / The HUB@NHH’s webpage.

Application deadlines are: 

To write your thesis in the spring semester: 15. March

To write your thesis in the autumn semester: 15. October