Institutional entrepreneurship for responsible digital innovation: The case of corporate digital responsibility

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How does responsible digital innovation become an accepted and desired innovation practice for businesses? Drawing on the case of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR), we study how institutional entrepreneurs across different fields construct CDR as an issue to legitimize corporate commitment to responsible digital innovation. Our qualitative study from Germany suggests that institutional entrepreneurship for responsible digital innovation entails the discursive, relational and material legitimation of responsible digital innovation through the issue of CDR. The findings of this study enrich institutional research on digital innovation by shedding light on the field-level construction of responsible digital innovation through Corporate Digital Responsibility. We further extend existing CDR frameworks by detailing the multi-stakeholder efforts that may shape a firm's approach to CDR, as well as by revealing additional topics associated with the issue. We highlight the theoretical and practical implications of our research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)447-459
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2022

Bibliographical note

We thank the Robert Bosch Stiftung for the generous funding of the workshop series “Digitalization and Sustainability: A European Perspective,” which helped with the data collection process. Hannah Trittin‐Ulbrich further acknowledges the financial support of the Dr. Theo and Friedl Schöller Research Center for Business and Society. We further thank Nicolas Markert for his support in preparing the data for analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Creativity and Innovation Management published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • corporate digital responsibility (CDR), digital innovation, institutional entrepreneurship, legitimacy, responsible digital innovation
  • Management studies