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Digital Strategies and Strategic Alignment

Karlsson, Sofia and Wåhlin, Frans (2017) MIO920
Production Management
Abstract
Increased digitalization and increased use of digital technologies in a multitude of
applications affect companies and their environments. Adapting to the change is important to
keep competitive advantage. Generally, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well
as the manufacturing industry are lagging behind in digitalization and digital maturity in
comparison to larger companies and other industries.
The purpose of the study was to investigate how SMEs within the manufacturing industry are
affected by and work with digital technologies, and especially if they have digital strategies
and how those digital strategies are aligned with the overall business strategy, given their
existence.
Through a qualitative and abductive... (More)
Increased digitalization and increased use of digital technologies in a multitude of
applications affect companies and their environments. Adapting to the change is important to
keep competitive advantage. Generally, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well
as the manufacturing industry are lagging behind in digitalization and digital maturity in
comparison to larger companies and other industries.
The purpose of the study was to investigate how SMEs within the manufacturing industry are
affected by and work with digital technologies, and especially if they have digital strategies
and how those digital strategies are aligned with the overall business strategy, given their
existence.
Through a qualitative and abductive approach, a multi case-study was performed with six
participating manufacturing SMEs based in the region of Skåne, Sweden. Through qualitative
interviews with key executives empirical data was retrieved from the case companies which
together with a literature study gave the data input for the study.
When analyzing the empirical data, the Strategic Alignment Model by Henderson and
Venkatraman and especially the derivatives of the model proposed by Luftman and Gutierrez
and Serrano respectively were used.
It was found that the case companies generally lacked digital strategies and had a low level of
strategic alignment according to the theoretical models employed. However, although the
case companies, according to the theoretical frameworks, generally did not work with explicit
digital strategies and had a low level of strategic alignment, it was found that they utilized
digital technologies to various degrees and viewed digital technologies as tools to achieve
their overall strategic goals. Further, it was found that the specific term ‘digitalization’ was
generally not used by the case companies. During the project, it was found that the theoretical
frameworks used for the analysis were not fully applicable for SMEs in the manufacturing
industry, and subsequently an evaluation of the framework was performed. A number of
factors and drivers explaining why the case companies had not developed specific digital
strategies, but also explaining what prioritizations had been made when investing in and
developing digital technologies, were also found. (Less)
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author
Karlsson, Sofia and Wåhlin, Frans
supervisor
organization
course
MIO920
year
type
M1 - University Diploma
subject
keywords
Strategic Alignment, Digital Strategy, Strategic Alignment Model, Strategic Alignment Maturity Model, Digitalization, SMEs, Manufacturing Industry.
other publication id
17/5578
language
English
id
8919207
date added to LUP
2017-06-27 15:37:44
date last changed
2017-06-27 15:37:44
@misc{8919207,
  abstract     = {Increased digitalization and increased use of digital technologies in a multitude of
applications affect companies and their environments. Adapting to the change is important to
keep competitive advantage. Generally, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well
as the manufacturing industry are lagging behind in digitalization and digital maturity in
comparison to larger companies and other industries.
The purpose of the study was to investigate how SMEs within the manufacturing industry are
affected by and work with digital technologies, and especially if they have digital strategies
and how those digital strategies are aligned with the overall business strategy, given their
existence.
Through a qualitative and abductive approach, a multi case-study was performed with six
participating manufacturing SMEs based in the region of Skåne, Sweden. Through qualitative
interviews with key executives empirical data was retrieved from the case companies which
together with a literature study gave the data input for the study.
When analyzing the empirical data, the Strategic Alignment Model by Henderson and
Venkatraman and especially the derivatives of the model proposed by Luftman and Gutierrez
and Serrano respectively were used.
It was found that the case companies generally lacked digital strategies and had a low level of
strategic alignment according to the theoretical models employed. However, although the
case companies, according to the theoretical frameworks, generally did not work with explicit
digital strategies and had a low level of strategic alignment, it was found that they utilized
digital technologies to various degrees and viewed digital technologies as tools to achieve
their overall strategic goals. Further, it was found that the specific term ‘digitalization’ was
generally not used by the case companies. During the project, it was found that the theoretical
frameworks used for the analysis were not fully applicable for SMEs in the manufacturing
industry, and subsequently an evaluation of the framework was performed. A number of
factors and drivers explaining why the case companies had not developed specific digital
strategies, but also explaining what prioritizations had been made when investing in and
developing digital technologies, were also found.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Sofia and Wåhlin, Frans},
  keyword      = {Strategic Alignment,Digital Strategy,Strategic Alignment Model,Strategic Alignment Maturity Model,Digitalization,SMEs,Manufacturing Industry.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Digital Strategies and Strategic Alignment},
  year         = {2017},
}