Digital–sustainable co-transformation: Introducing the triple bottom line of sustainability to digital transformation research

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


Organisations face two transformation challenges. They embark on their digital transformation (DT), while they also have to accomplish their sustainability transformation (ST). However, on an organisational level, existing information systems (IS) research has thus far treated both transformations separately. While we can observe calls for IS research that investigates the design and use of IT artefacts for ST, existing studies into DT emphasise economic sustainability. In fact, DT scholars hinge the success of DT on economic sustainability. We argue that this emphasis on economic sustainability is an opportunity missed; that DT can contribute to accomplishing the triple bottom line of sustainability (i.e., economic, social and environmental sustainability). We rest our argument on DT and ST’s linchpin: innovation. Existing studies outline that both transformations stem from a sequence of innovations. Drawing on a typology of innovation for ST, we posit that sustainable digital innovations can contribute to both DT and ST. We conceptualise this proposition as a digital–sustainable co-transformation. We argue that this concept can sensitise both IS researchers and practitioners to introduce the triple bottom line of sustainability to DT and to conceive of DT and ST not as two transformations running in parallel but as one co-transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Choice and Digital by Default: Autonomy vs Digital Determination : HCC 2022
EditorsDavid Kreps, Robert Davison, Taro Komukai, Kaori Ishii
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date01.01.2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-15687-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-15688-5
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.