Digital Transformation and Financial Performance: Do Digital Specialists Unlock the Profit Potential of New Digital Business Models for SMEs?

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Abstract

This study aims to assess the impact of digital transformation on financial performance. Conceptualizing digital transformation as a measure for digital business model change, we explore how the relationship between firms’ digital transformation and financial performance depends on the presence of dedicated digital experts: digital specialists. Using survey data of 189 Dutch SMEs, we find that the presence of digital specialists does not directly improve financial performance, but that it helps to convert digital transformation more effectively: the positive association between digital transformation and financial performance only exists when firms have a digital specialist. Our contingency approach underlines the context-specific nature of digital transformation and highlights the importance of specialists in unlocking the value of digital transformation. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Digital Transformation
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the Strategic Process
EditorsAndreas Hinterhuber, Tiziano Vescovi, Francesca Checchinato
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter20
Pages240-258
Number of pages19
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781003008637
ISBN (Print)9780367442682, 9780367441975
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • digital transformation
  • CEO

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