Legitimizing Digital Transformation: From System Integration to Platformization

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearch


Past studies have elucidated how incumbents struggle to adapt to their environments when experiencing technological shifts. Yet, less is known about incumbents' pro-active usage of emerging information technologies to offer discontinuous innovations themselves. Offering discontinuous innovations, which deviate from past strengths, raise questions of internal legitimacy, i.e. perceptions of appropriateness among members, especially when still profiting from the current business model. We conducted an ethnography in an IT company to explore how internal legitimacy emerges within an incumbent which embeds a new technology to shift its business model from being an individual-service to a platform-based provider. Our results suggest that organizational members only perceive the shift as legitimate, after positive cues from the external environment emerged, despite preceding managerial persuasion attempts. By depicting the emergence of a vicious and a virtuous circle in the course of members' legitimizing, we contribute to both, literatures on innovation management and platformization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems 2018, ICIS 2018 : ICIS 2018 Proceedings
EditorsAssociation for information systems
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationAtlanta
PublisherAIS eLibrary
Publication date2018
Article number5
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9966831-7-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event39th International Conference on Information Systems - 2018: BRIDGING THE INTERNET OF PEOPLE, DATA, AND THINGS - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 13.12.201816.12.2018
Conference number: 39

Bibliographical note

Aufsatz 5 in: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Transformation

    Research areas

  • Management studies
  • Digital Transformation, Innovation Management, Legitimizing, Platformization