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European Journal of Information Systems
Managing and Sustaining
Digital Transformations

Journal Information: www.tandfonline.com/ejis

Next deadline for invited revisions: July 29th 2022

Guest Editors

Overview of the Special Issue


In an era of heightened uncertainty and urgency around disruption, digital transformation has become a global priority on leadership agendas and researchers across the Information Systems (IS) field (Bughin et al. 2019; Chanias et al. 2019; Hess et al. 2016; Matt et al. 2015; Vial, 2019). Digital transformations are typically described as strategic changes through the use of digital technologies to extend an organisation’s business model, which result in changed products and processes, improved customers engagement, and new organisational structures to provide digital-based services (Hess et al. 2016; Matt et al. 2015; Müller et al. 2016; Sebastian et al. 2017). Leaders have growing expectations from the promise of digital transformations to make a strategic contribution to their business’ survival and success (Berman 2012; Vial, 2019), for example, by extending existing business models through the integration of advanced technologies (Wiesböck and Hess, 2020). However, digital transformation is still in its infancy (Vial 2019). Compared to insights on digital technologies, the extant literature provides sparse coverage on theoretical developments or empirical research that can explain the process of digital transformation, such as how transformations become implemented, embedded, integrated, and evaluated in practice. With such a void in our understanding, it may be unsurprising to learn that approximately 70% of all digital transformation initiatives do not reach their goals (Bucy et al. 2016) with billions of dollars going to waste (Tabrizi et al. 2019). Of the successful digital transformations, it is estimated that there is a 45 percent chance of delivering less profit than expected (Bughin et al. 2019). Clearly, the process of digital transformation within an IS context is not well understood (Carroll, 2020; Rowe, 2018; Vial, 2019) although we continue to build weak assumptions on how digital transformations can be managed and sustained. Fundamentally, this raises questions on how digital transformations are managed, and what techniques we need to introduce to offer better guidance on sustaining them. Against this background, this Special Issue calls for more research on managing digital transformations and deepening our discourse on how to better sustain digital transformations in practice (Baiyere et al. 2019; Hassan et al. 2019; Wessel et al. 2020).


Topics of Interest


We welcome IS accounts of digital transformations at the individual, group/team, organisational or societal level across all possible domains. We solicit conceptual papers, case studies (and comparative cases), surveys, experiments, qualitative research, design science research, and collaborative action research among academics and practitioners that illustrate novel approaches to managing digital transformations and overcoming specific challenges with sustaining the transformation process. We especially seek papers that offer new theoretical models along with evidence of consequences related to managing and sustaining digital transformations. Some of the key topics we are interested in include (but are not limited to):

  • Digital transformation strategies, practices and processes

  • Digital transformation mindset, culture and roles

  • Socio-technical factors for managing and sustaining digital transformations

  • The role of analytics and big data in managing and sustaining digital transformation

  • Information systems development in digital transformation

  • Sustaining and evaluating digital transformations

  • Agility and urgency in digital transformations

  • Governance for digital transformations

  • Evolving and competing across platforms for digital transformations

  • Enablers and barriers of managing and sustaining digital transformations

  • IS ethical and corporate responsibility considerations for digital transformation

  • Success or failure of digital transformations

  • Open innovation for digital transformations

  • Building digital resilience in the face digital transformation


Important dates

  • Initial paper submission deadline: January 21st 2022

  • First round authors notification: April 1st 2022

  • Author development workshop (ECIS 2022): TBC – June 16-18th 2022

  • Invited revisions deadline: July 29th 2022

    • Note: you may receive a system reminder from ScholarOne with an earlier deadline; please disregard this. The deadline for revisions is July 29th 2022.

  • Second round authors notification: September 30th 2022

  • Final revision deadline: November 11th 2022

  • Final authors notification: December 9th 2022


Associate Editors

  • Alexander Benlian, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany

  • Amany Elbanna, University of London, UK

  • André Hanelt, University of Kassel, Germany

  • Arto Lanamäki, University of Oulu, Finland

  • Brian Fitzgerald, University of Limerick, Ireland

  • Christiane Lehrer, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

  • Gregory Vial, HEC Montreal, Canada

  • Jonny Holmström, Umeå University, Sweden

  • Michael Cahalane, University of New South Wales, Australia

  • Nancy Pouloudi, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece

  • Netta Iivari, University of Oulu, Finland

  • Rob Gleasure, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

  • Steffi Haag, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

  • Sven Rehm, EM Strasbourg Business School

  • Xiaofeng Wang, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

  • Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Swansea University, UK


  • Baiyere, A., Avital, M., Berente, N., Henfridsson, O., Hinings, C. R. B., Tuertscher, P., & Yoo, Y. (2019). Digital “X”: In Need of New Theories or Do Prior Theories Suffice?. The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019, Boston, United States.

  • Berman, S.J. (2012). Digital transformation: opportunities to create new business models. Strategy & Leadership.

  • Bucy, M., Finlayson, A., Kelly, G. and Moye, C. (2016). The ‘how’ of transformation. McKinsey & Company.

  • Bughin, J., Deakin, J. and O’Beirne, B. (2019). Digital transformation: Improving the odds of success. The McKinsey Quarterly.

  • Carroll, N. (2020). Theorizing on The Normalization Of Digital Transformations, 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2020), Marrakesh, Morocco.

  • Chanias, S., Myers, M.D. and Hess, T. (2019). Digital transformation strategy making in pre-digital organizations: The case of a financial services provider. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 28(1), pp.17-33.

  • Hassan, N.R., Mathiassen, L. and Lowry, P.B. (2019). The process of information systems theorizing as a discursive practice. Journal of Information Technology, 34(3), pp.198-220.

  • Hess, T., Matt, C., Benlian, A. and Wiesböck, F. (2016). How German Media Companies Defined Their Digital Transformation Strategies. MIS Quarterly Executive, 15(2), pp.103-119.

  • Matt, C., Hess, T. and Benlian, A. (2015). Digital transformation strategies. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 57(5), pp.339-343.

  • Müller, O., Junglas, I., Brocke, J.V. and Debortoli, S. (2016). Utilizing big data analytics for information systems research: challenges, promises and guidelines. European Journal of Information Systems, 25(4), pp.289-302.

  • Rowe, F. (2018). Being critical is good, but better with philosophy! From digital transformation and values to the future of IS research. European Journal of Information Systems, 27(3), pp.380-393.

  • Sebastian, I., Ross, J., Beath, C., Mocker, M., Moloney, K. and Fonstad, N. (2017). How big old companies navigate digital transformation. MIS Quart. Executive, 16 (3), pp. 197-213.

  • Tabrizi, B., Lam, E., Girard, K. and Irvin, V. (2019). Digital transformation is not about technology. Harvard Business Review, 13.

  • Vial, G. (2019). Understanding digital transformation: A review and a research agenda. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems. 28(2), pp.118-144

  • Wessel, L., Baiyere, A., Ologeanu-Taddei, R., Cha, J. and Jensen, T. (2020). Unpacking the difference between digital transformation and IT-enabled organizational transformation. Journal of Association of Information Systems (Forthcoming).

  • Wiesböck, F. and Hess, T. (2020). Digital innovations. Electronic Markets, 30(1), pp.75-86.