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The digital transformation of innovation and entrepreneurship: Progress, challenges and key themes


  • Nambisan, Satish
  • Wright, Mike
  • Feldman, Maryann


The emergence of novel and powerful digital technologies, digital platforms and digital infrastructures has transformed innovation and entrepreneurship in significant ways. Beyond simply opening new opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs, digital technologies have broader implications for value creation and value capture. Research aimed at understanding the digital transformation of the economy needs to incorporate multiple and cross-levels of analysis, embrace ideas and concepts from multiple fields/disciplines, and explicitly acknowledge the role of digital technologies in transforming organizations and social relationships. To help realize this research agenda, we identify three key themes related to digitization—openness, affordances, and generativity—and, outline broad research issues relating to each. We suggest that such themes that are innate to digital technologies could serve as a common conceptual platform that allows for connections between issues at different levels as well as the integration of ideas from different disciplines/areas. We then summarize the contributions of the 11 papers presented in this Special Issue relating them to one or more of these themes and outlining their implications for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Nambisan, Satish & Wright, Mike & Feldman, Maryann, 2019. "The digital transformation of innovation and entrepreneurship: Progress, challenges and key themes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(8), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:48:y:2019:i:8:8
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.03.018

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    7. Naudé, Wim & Liebregts, Werner, 2020. "Digital Entrepreneurship Research: A Concise Introduction," IZA Discussion Papers 13667, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Thonipara, Anita & Sternberg, Rolf G. & Proeger, Till & Haefner, Lukas, 2020. "Assessing the Digital Divide and its Regional Determinants: Evidence from a Web-Scraping Analysis," ifh Working Papers 25/2020, Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh).
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    13. Andreas Hein & Maximilian Schreieck & Tobias Riasanow & David Soto Setzke & Manuel Wiesche & Markus Böhm & Helmut Krcmar, 2020. "Digital platform ecosystems," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 30(1), pages 87-98, March.
    14. Dillon, Sarah M. & Glavas, Charmaine & Mathews, Shane, 2020. "Digitally immersive, international entrepreneurial experiences," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6).
    15. Hadjielias, Elias & (Lola) Dada, Olufunmilola & Discua Cruz, Allan & Zekas, Stavros & Christofi, Michael & Sakka, Georgia, 2021. "How do digital innovation teams function? Understanding the team cognition-process nexus within the context of digital transformation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 373-386.
    16. Wei Zhou & Zidong Wang, 2020. "Competing for Search Traffic in Query Markets: Entry Strategy, Platform Design, and Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 20-12, NET Institute.
    17. Evgeny V. Popov & Wadim Strielkowski & Maksim V. Vlasov, 2020. "Digitalization of intellectual activity in Russian regions," Upravlenets, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 11(1), pages 24-32, March.
    18. Michaela Wrede & Vivek K. Velamuri & Tobias Dauth, 2020. "Top managers in the digital age: Exploring the role and practices of top managers in firms' digital transformation," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(8), pages 1549-1567, December.
    19. Shrutika Mishra & A. R. Tripathi, 2020. "Literature review on business prototypes for digital platform," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 1-19, December.
    20. Narcisa Roxana Mosteanu, 2020. "Finance Digitalization and its impact on labour market," Technium Social Sciences Journal, Technium Science, vol. 8(1), pages 598-605, June.


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