‘Forewarned is Forearmed’: Overcoming Multifaceted Challenges of Digital Innovation Units

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


  • Jun-Patrick Raabe
  • Bettina Horlach
  • Ingrid Schirmer
  • Paul Drews
Due to rapidly changing customer needs, enterprises seek to innovate continuously. Incumbent firms need to improve their capabilities to develop, evaluate, and implement digital innovations. Recently, many enterprises established digital innovation units (DIUs) for accelerating their digital innovation endeavors. Although numerous units exist in practice, the number of negative press headlines that address failure or dissolution of DIUs is increasing. Based on a literature review and a qualitative cross-industry study with eleven enterprises, we discuss the relation of DIUs to organizational concepts like ambidexterity, bimodal, and trimodal IT. Furthermore, we substantiated seven multifaceted challenges of DIUs, which span across stages of innovation development, organizational units, and hierarchical levels. Based on these findings, we developed three recommendations for responses to these challenges: (1) DIU-Business-IT collaboration across stages, (2) network of executive responsibilities, and (3) general digital awareness of the organization as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2020 : Strategic and competitive uses of IT
EditorsAssociation for Information Systems (AIS)
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationAtlanta
PublisherAIS eLibrary
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7336325-4-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event26th American Conference on Information Systems 2020 - AMCIS 2020 - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: 10.08.202014.08.2020
Conference number: 26

    Research areas

  • Business informatics - Digital Innovation Units, Digital Innovation Labs, Challenges, Failure