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2023 | Buch

Sustainable Digital Transformation

Paving the Way Towards Smart Organizations and Societies


Über dieses Buch

Digital transformation is one of the most discussed topics today because of its impact on society and the economy. This book explores how digital transformation can be made sustainable and how sustainability strategies can be integrated into the different phases of digital transformation development. It shows how ICT experts, managers, and policy makers can contribute to a sustainable digital transformation by examining the technological, organizational, and societal implications. The book is based on a selection of best papers on this topic presented at the annual conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS in Trento, Italy, in October 2021.

The plurality of views offered makes the book particularly relevant for scholars, companies, and organizations in the public sector.


Digital Transformation and Sustainability: A Means-Ends Perspective
Stefano Za, Robert Winter, Alessandra Lazazzara

Sustainability Through Digital Transformation

Digital Accounting Information System for Non-financial Disclosure: A Case Study Analysis
The disclosure of non-financial information (NFI) is becoming more and more relevant worldwide, especially after the directive 2014/95/EU. The relevance of the preparation of the non-financial information is increasing even with regard to the role of the Information Technology (IT) system. The review of the prior literature, indeed, shows a gap in the analysis of which are the most effective IT audit tools and procedures that may be used for providing reliable non-financial information. The main aim of this research is to analyze the role of the IT in the preparation ad in supporting the control of the reliability of non-financial data. In order to reach the research aims, we apply a qualitative case study based on interviews and the triangulation of this evidence with a secondary source (such as an annual report or a non-financial disclosure). Therefore, researchers, thought an exploratory approach, carried out semi-structured type interviews. We selected three case studies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange market. The interviewees were actors responsible or substantially involved in the process of the non-financial information. Results of our research show that collecting and reporting data for non-financial disclosure by using a digital accounting information system represents a great challenge for the company. The interviewee stated that the digital accounting information systems are pivotal for the data collection and for the programming phase. Results show that collecting information in a more secure way is needed.
Valentina Beretta, Maria Chiara Demartini, Sara Trucco
Green-Oriented Crowdfunding Campaign: An Explorative Study
The worldwide growing concern for environmental protection compels businesses to incorporate green orientation in their strategies. Crowdfunding has opened new possibilities to attract investors by encompassing green concerns in their agenda. This study investigates the relationship between green orientation and UK crowdfunding campaign success. We have used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to build the green orientation index, for which we have chosen 210 green campaigns out of 720 crowdfunding campaigns. Then we performed a cluster analysis to identify three clusters (social enthusiast, green fan, and tech-oriented) of green-oriented crowdfunding campaign. We performed a predictive validity analysis to identify which cluster is more effective in ensuring the crowdfunding’s performance. The results show that tech-oriented obtain the highest value and share a positive relationship with the amount raised and crowdfunding’s success. Social enthusiast effectively attracts more crowd through the social platform and thereby successfully raises funds. Green orientation, however, does not affect crowdfunding success or overfunding, which shows that there is a huge difference between the clusters, suggesting that the green orientation itself is not considered so important for the crowdfunding campaigns. It also highlights a crucial point the in the crowdfunding’s objectives, the realization of the environmental concern, society, and the long-term sustainability concern is not promising.
Nabila Abid, Federica Ceci, Francesca di Pietro, Francesca Masciarelli
Playing (with) Sustainability: A Multi-purpose Gamification Case
The paper analyzes the Gamindo case study, a multi-sided digital platform that offers gamified services to answer the needs of three different categories of actors: firms, non-profit organizations, and gamers. The analysis focuses on the interdependencies between actors/stakeholders on an intermediary digital platform which acts as a focal firm in the digital business ecosystem. The paper adopts a qualitative methodology to analyze a four-year longitudinal case study of an Italian startup. Together with direct observation and participation in the development of the startup ecosystem in its early stages, the authors collected secondary data, interviews and organized several focus groups. In the rapidly evolving context represented by the game industry, the selected case study highlights the growth of a highly innovative digital platform ecosystem combining new mutual relationships between actors in a market. The Gamindo ecosystem can be seen as a catalyst for purpose-driven complementary actors willing to address the challenges of sustainability resulting in positive externalities for the environment and society as a whole. The paper theoretically contributes to the rapidly growing body of literature investigating both gamification for business and business ecosystems. It also contributes to existing CSR literature by providing new insights on how intermediary platforms may play a role in the spread of the innovative practices connected with sustainability outcomes. The practical implications of the paper demonstrate how purposed-advergames can be used by firms to develop CSR activities; how non-profit organizations might raise money from networking externalities and the involvement of gamers/donators; and how Gamindo orchestrates a multi-purposed game ecosystem.
Alessia Zoppelletto, Roberta Cuel
How to Measure Political Connection in the Directors’ Network
Informal social contract such as political connection plays a significant role for directors' network but difficult to explore their role through traditional measures. Different social network measures labelled as “centralities” have previously been used in the network analysis community to find influential nodes in a network. It is debatable how valid these centrality measures for the political connection are. This paper aims not only to identify the political connection through social network analysis but to analyze the different levels of political connection through different centrality measures according to the country's institutional environment. For this purpose, we used data from a relationship-based economy like Pakistan from 2009 to 2015. We analyze the five different levels of political connection and examine their role through five social network measures: degree, closeness centrality, betweenness centrality, eigenvector, and eccentricity. Our finding demonstrates that degree, betweenness centrality, and eigenvector are not suitable measures for political connection role and control in the directors’ network. Closeness centrality gives a better understanding of how other directors are closed to politically connected directors and which level of political connection attracts the other directors but couldn’t explain how far a political director can access. We found eccentricity as the most suitable measure for the political connection and their different role. We also found the federal and provincial level political connections become more central and important through the eccentricity measure after the regime's shift from autocratic to democratic.
Sohail Mansha, Stefano Za, Gianluca Antonucci
Examining Environmental Sustainability in Italy: Evidence from ARDL and Non-linear ARDL Approaches
One of the reasons behind environmental degradation and climate change is greenhouse gases that are mainly consisted of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Besides, CO2 emissions negatively affect human health. Consequently, national institutions should understand which factors are affecting carbon emissions in order to achieve sustainable (environmental, social and economic) development. The main objective of this paper is to examine the symmetric and asymmetric effects of oil price, foreign direct investments and economic growth on carbon emissions in Italy. To this purpose, the long and short-run impact of these variables on carbon emissions have been investigated by applying the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) and non-linear ARDL methodologies to Italian data for the period 1970–2019. The symmetric results show that economic growth and foreign direct investments intensify carbon emissions both in the long and short-run, while the impact of oil price on emissions is negative in the long-run and positive in the short-run, suggesting that oil price is responsible for environmental degradation only in the short run. The asymmetric results reveal that both in the long and short-run an increase in the oil price imply reductions in carbon emission.
Aamir Javed, Agnese Rapposelli
Openness in Communication and Budgetary Information in the Participative Budgeting Research. The Case of Italian Public Healthcare Organizations
In the last decades, the diffusion in Italian Public Healthcare Organizations (PHOs) of accounting and managerial practices, centered on planning and budgeting, have increased doctors’ presence into management roles. Clinical heads of units, becoming budget holders, have to face new accountability purposes. However, PHOs still struggle in implementing effectively hybrid professionalism, due to doctor-managers’ resistance to use budgetary information for decision-making. To overcome these criticalities, doctor-managers’ involvement in PHOs’ budgeting process may be beneficial, as highlighted by Behavioral Management Accounting research on budgetary participation. Nevertheless, without the support of openness in communication with top management, doctor-managers’ hybrid nature might lead them to develop a cognitive distance that may do not fit their predisposition to participate. A strengthening of their involvement in the budgetary information features design might mitigate these risks. In the BMA perspective, this paper explores the role of perceptions of openness in communication in improving the predisposition of doctor-managers to participate in the budgeting process, via the indirect effect of perceived utility of budgetary information. Data were collected administering a questionnaire to 332 doctor-managers of Italian PHOs. The response rate was of 37.95%. Hypotheses were tested through a regression analysis. Our study contributes to the interpretative research on the organizational factors affecting the involvement of doctor-managers in PHOs’ management, offering new insights into the psychological antecedents of budgetary participation. Results show that: perceptions of openness in communication have a positive effect on perceived utility of budgetary information; this latter has a positive effect on budgetary participation of doctor-managers.
Domenico Raucci, Manuela Paolini
COVID-19 Pandemic and New Cardiology Telemonitoring Organization: How to Cast the Others
Over the last decade, ICT innovation in healthcare have been explored and extensively tested. While such implementation and use were not straightforward, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a widespread use of new online services like telemonitoring. This paper takes a closer look at the cardiology telemonitoring to shed light on the technology adoption in the healthcare system. While, on the one hand, healthcare professionals have known how to quickly gear up to respond to the new constraints, on the other it seems that the stakeholders of the system show mixed feelings about them. Looking at two different cardiology departments, the paper highlights that this resilience can be allied with organizational innovations underway and in some cases assume an acceleration that is not easily predictable.
Alberto Zanutto, Diego Ponte, Enrico Maria Piras
Smart and Inclusive Museums for Visitors with Autism: The App Case “A Dip in the Blue”
This paper aims to investigate how digital technologies can make museums ‘smart’ and ‘inclusive’ engaging visitors, especially people with special needs. Adopting a bottom-up approach and a participatory design, this exploratory and qualitative study describes the design and development of a specific App for children with Autism called ‘A dip in the Blue’ of archaeological museum located in Southern Italy (The Archaeological Museum of Paestum and Velia). Starting from a specific toolkit, a paper visual agenda, planned according to a specific format (forms, figures, colours, and emoticons), which made children and their parents to really enjoy the museum environment overcoming the barriers and limits that usually exist for them, the App provides a digital visual agenda and further services and facilities. Thus, after the first visits at the museum, the paper visual agenda became a virtual visual agenda that supports children with Autism and their family, as well as all the young visitors. The App has been designed and developed following all the specific standards and criteria of the Universal Design and considering the specific needs of the special visitors adopting a bottom-up approach, indeed, autistic children were actively involved in the design and development process with their families and all the operators. The paper provides some effective best practices for museums to become smarter and more inclusive through digital technologies and real users’ needs.
Luisa Varriale, Roberta Cuel, Aurelio Ravarini, Paola Briganti, Giovanni Minucci
Smart City’s Internationalization and International Management Strategies in the Digital Era: A Systematic Literature Review
The impact of the smart city concept in the urban landscape has been the subject of considerable attention over the last few years. Cities are changing their development strategies by trying to attract not only capital but also knowledge and talent. This change has led cities to turn increasingly to the outside world by developing international strategies and raising their internationalization process towards the global context. The purpose of the paper is to develop a systematic overview of the literature examining the relationship between smart cities and the internationalization process. Emphasis will be placed on global management strategies for the international development of smart cities. The study aims to examine existing research through the adaptation of the Systems Literature Review (SLR). As a result, new knowledge on the state of the art in policy, practice, and academia can be generated to identify significant theoretical insights and knowledge gaps for future research. We provide a descriptive analysis, a state of the art of research topic, and an integrative vision of the development of smart cities concerning international management and the internationalization process.
Filippo Marchesani, Lea Iaia, Francesca Masciarelli, Michael Christofi

Sustainability in Digital Transformation

Assessing Capabilities to Embrace Digital Transformation: The Case of Southern Italy
Southern Italy has been confronting dire economic and resource scarcity challenges to keep up with the national growth. Digitalization is a changing phenomenon that transforms the firm’s structure and enhances production, operational, and service efficiency helping to reduce economic and geographical disparity. Firms play a crucial role in the development of an economy. In the recent decade, digital transformation has emerged as a driver for economic growth and urban development by transitioning the firms’ processes. However, firms need sufficient institutional support during the digital transition process. The Italian government has taken substantial initiatives to stabilize and boost the economic structure of southern Italy. This study aims to determine the existing relationship between southern Italian cities’ digitalization and firms’ financial capabilities and institutional support. We have applied correlation and regression models to examine the relationship between cities’ digitalization, local firms’ financial capabilities, and institutional support. Our results highlight the significant relationship between cities’ digitalization, firms’ financial capabilities, and institutional support in southern Italian cities. This paper produces policy suggestions for the government to extend the institutional financial support toward the southern firms. As the transformation of cities will increase the operational and production efficiency of the firms, which will add to the regional and national economic development.
Nabila Abid, Filippo Marchesani, Federica Ceci, Francesca Masciarelli
Getting Digital Technologies Right—A Forward-Looking Maturity Model for Enterprise Performance Management
Enterprise performance management (EPM) helps in executing a company’s strategy. As transformations towards digital EPM are challenging, the objective of this paper is to develop a forward-looking maturity model to help companies digitalize their EPM. We apply a “zero-quartile” approach. In contrast to the best practices of top performing companies (“first quartile”), a zero-quartile defines the expected (collectively deemed best possible) state of a future EPM leveraging digital technologies. We employ the Rasch algorithm on data of a survey of 203 participants and based on a maturity model, we come up with four design guidelines to help companies digitalize their EPM. (1) A digital enterprise platform is the future single source of truth for planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Backing managers’ experience with data, it combines harmonized ERP outcomes with insights from market analyses, social media, and other sources. (2) Predictive analytics is the first opinion for planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Yet, managers have to learn to accept such outcomes so that they can focus more on irregularities. (3) Standard reports and analyses as well as standard comments will be automated. User-centricity is the “new” normal for a more natural working modus. (4) Managers should overcome their reluctance to work with data and start analyzing in a self-service fashion. Technology will support them from a global view to a line-item level.
Jörg H. Mayer, Markus Esswein, Moritz Göbel, Reiner Quick
Data Ecosystem and Data Value Chain: An Exploration of Drones Technology Applications
The drones’ market is anticipated to grow significantly because of its increasing use for commercial and professional purposes. They are currently used in many industries and the next frontier is represented by the automotive industry. The volume of disposable data is growing exponentially, reaching more than 44 zettabytes of valuable data in 2020. In order to be able to fully reap the value of data available, firms must delve in big data and Data Value Chain (DVC) discipline. This paper explores the ecosystem formation as well as the challenges and criticalities encountered by Dronus and Here in their interaction and exchange of data. Ecosystems are network of distributed companies that shows multiple links toward their environment that interact via standard and business rules which permit them to be independent but also connected. Data have been collected through multiple sources, i.e. semi-structured interviews with firm’s representatives and direct observation. This study will give a contribution for future literature as it focuses on the analysis and research of an important gap that sees knowledge of bottlenecks as a way of conscious and efficient growth. In this way, firms and ecosystems that have successfully understood the importance of these variables found will be able to better answer to changes becoming more agile. Successful big data integration, accessibility and standard business rules, as we identify as the main roadblocks, will allow firms in data-driven sectors, and in particular in computer vision-based data set, to be efficient in the interconnection and to become more agile.
Cristina De Simone, Federica Ceci, Cristina Alaimo
Towards an Understanding of the Platform Phenomenon: An Agent-Based Simulation Approach
Despite the omnipresence of platforms and the breadth of related research, predicting the outcomes of platforms remains challenging. To reach a critical mass of complementary partners innovating on their platform, platform owners must foster both generativity and profitability on their platform. The conditions under which these objectives may be achieved have yet to be delineated, however. The study at hand theorizes that the impact of platforms’ promised capabilities is delineated by the conditions in the competitive environment. Through simulation, explicitly designed to understand system-level behavior, this theorization can be tested. The developed agent-based simulation model captures a platform within its surrounding business ecosystem. It accounts for platforms’ value proposition to lower search costs and resource costs associated with innovation, as well as related governance decisions faced by platform owners. Importantly, conditions in the competitive environment, namely environmental complexity, may also be adjusted for experimental testing. The simulation model thereby enables a flexible investigation of platform governance decisions and broader environmental conditions. Experimentation results reveal platforms as ineffective at fostering generativity and profitability in low complexity environments, implying platforms to not be uniformly promising or disruptive in all kinds of competitive environments. Thus, this study’s main contribution is an agent-based simulation model to help understand and predict outcomes of platforms as complex phenomena.
Marius Schmid
Implementation of Platform Governance Mechanisms: Insights From a B2B Platform Ecosystem
Platform ecosystems are complex ecologies of firms with individual, sometimes conflicting, interests and goals. A platform owner as orchestrator of the ecosystem needs to constantly align the ecosystem actors’ individual interests towards common objectives. To achieve such alignment of interests, platform owners rely on a purposefully defined governance structure, which is implemented through a set of governance mechanisms. Despite a variety of mechanisms being discussed in the existing research, little is known about platform owners’ main activities to implement such mechanisms in their specific platform contexts, particularly in a B2B platform ecosystem context. To bridge this gap, we conduct an in-depth study of Salesforce, a thriving B2B platform ecosystem in the enterprise software industry. We find that the platform owner made significant resource investments to implement governance mechanisms based on innovative activities and we provide detailed empirical accounts on each of the main activities. Our findings indicate that governance mechanisms are implemented differently in B2B platform ecosystems compared to consumer-focused platform ecosystems, which should be examined in more detail by future research.
Nicola Staub
Digital Bridge or Tradeoff: Telehealth Adoption and Healthcare Service Quality. A Scoping Review
As the pressing need to expand the delivery of healthcare has surpassed the traditional limits of implementation, the substantial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the provision of healthcare services under duress. We explore the outcomes associated with the implementation of telehealth technology in healthcare ecosystems, we are mindful of the challenge in bridging the gap between the potential for extending healthcare technology to overcome the disruption in the provision of health services and the possible effect on the quality of healthcare services. This paper aims to learn from the literature on the impact of Telehealth diffusion on the delivery of quality care. We develop a scoping review and evaluate the outcome through the lens of the six aims of improvement of healthcare quality. We synthesize the literature around managing the disruption, identifying the risks of unintended consequences and factors affecting adoption. We also offer learnings and call to action.
Layal N. Mohtar, Nabil Georges Badr
Mapping the Literature of Digital Transformation in the Context of Non-profit Organisations
Digital Transformation (DT) is a recurring theme in literature with regard to different business sectors. Among several aspects, scholars investigate organisational, technological, strategical or more distinctive traits concerning DT initiatives, such as motivation, implication or policy. However, only a few of them discuss DT initiatives focusing on the non-profit sector and the non-profit organisations (NPOs) in particular, which is the main aim of this work. This research takes over as a further step into a project intended to investigate DT initiatives in the context of NPOs. Specifically, this study comes after the development of a taxonomy identified by a systematic overview of the literature discussing DT in NPOs, afterwards used in classifying selected articles. This contribution seeks to apply some exploratory multivariate techniques performing a cluster analysis on the classification formerly pursued. To this end, we adopt the multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and the hierarchical clustering on principal component (HCPC) methods by using some R packages. The outcome of this paper is threefold: (i) to analyse the associations between the multiple categorical variables defined by the taxonomy, (ii) to identify clouds of articles with similar discussion traits, and (iii) to group articles into clusters of similar contributions. Hence, we firstly pre-process the indicator matrix as input for the MCA. Next, we identify the principal components to reduce dimensionality. Afterwards, we adopt the Euclidean distance to find similarity among articles and Ward distance for partitioning. As a result, nine clusters recognise some recurrent patterns which would describe DT initiatives in NPOs.
Michele Cipriano, Stefano Za
What is Governance of Blockchains? A Comparison of Theoretical and Empirical Findings on a Taxonomy-Level
Blockchain is an emerging technology with the potential to disrupt and enable collaboration in ecosystem structures that are difficult if not impossible to achieve otherwise. An important aspect of collaboration in blockchain ecosystems is governance. Proper governance also ensures sustainable growth of a blockchain solution. The current body of knowledge features a growing number of contributions on this topic. This is promising as it allows for a meta-view of what entails governance, which has been done with some lenses, usually with an empirical one. This study focuses on comparing the empirical approach with the theoretical approach by looking at existing dimensions and characteristics that define blockchain governance, using an SLR. This resulted in identifying 11/18 dimensions and 18/42 underlying characteristics that were not identified in literature, 3 new and 14/18 overlapping dimensions and 26/42 underlying characteristics. The newly identified dimensions include (1) Incentives, (2) Trust, and (3) Smart Contracts. Future research should focus to extend on the blockchain governance taxonomies so that they can be operationalized. This helps better understanding of what entails blockchain governance from a conceptual level but will also aid blockchain professionals to design their blockchain governance in a sustainable way, taking into account all stakeholders.
Koen Smit, Sam Leewis, Robin de Jong, John van Meerten
Sustainable Digital Transformation
herausgegeben von
Stefano Za
Robert Winter
Alessandra Lazazzara
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