Digital Innovation


Digital innovations are now part of almost every area of life. Companies are currently facing the challenge of transforming existing processes in order to remain innovative in an increasingly digitized environment. Our previous research in this area, has been able to empirically substantiate initial conceptual research and show that corporate boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, making it more important for companies to be part of innovation networks. Other findings show that innovation units that focus on digital innovation place a special emphasis on the acquisition and recombination of knowledge. In addition, we identify specific mechanisms that are used by such digital innovation units.

Topic of research

As part of the research on digital transformation and innovation, the following questions are the focus of consideration of the ISS-team:

Digital Innovation – what is new?

One of the central issues of current research concerns the distinction between digital innovation and "traditional" innovation. To better understand what characterizes digital innovation, how it can be created, and how companies can respond to it, it is imperative to understand what is actually different about digital innovation. Our previous research has already uncovered clear trends in the literature and underlined that there are differences at the individual as well as the organizational level. These differences manifest themselves, for example, through the involvement of customers in the innovation process or through increased cooperation between competing companies. In the future, ISS-team’s research will focus on identifying if - and if so, - how digital innovation is different from existing innovation literature.

Digital Innovation Labs - The Solution to Stay Innovative?

We can observe in practice, that companies are looking for new ways to deal with the challenges of digitization. Establishing digital innovation labs is a particularly popular tool, which many companies use. Our research has already gained initial insights into the various mechanisms used by digital innovation labs to successfully innovate in the digital environment. Currently, the ISDL team is part of one of the largest case study series on the topic of digital innovation labs in Germany and will gather further insights into the success factor "digital innovation lab" in future research.

Practical relatedness

In close cooperation with the German Graduate School of Management and Law and the Frankfurt School of Finance, we conduct numerous case studies with medium-sized and multinational companies as part of the SENECA project. For the most part, companies are left alone on digital transformation issues. Therefore, the goal is to better understand the challenges in practice and to identify and operationalize possible solutions for companies.

Selected Publications

  • Hund, A., Holotiuk, F., Wagner, H., and Beimborn, D. (2019): Knowledge Management in the Digital Era: How Digital Innovation Labs Facilitate Knowledge Recombination; Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm-Uppsala
  • Hund, A., Drechsler, K., and Reibenspiess, V. (2019): The Current State and Future Opportunities of Digital Innovation: A Literature Review; Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden
  • Hund, A., Wagner, H., and Gewald, H. (2019): The Impact of Digitization on Contemporary Innovation Management; Forthcoming in: Proceedings of the 25th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Cancún, Mexico
  • Hund, A., Wagner, H., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2019): The Creation of Digital Innovation: Internal Reorganization, External Networks and Organizational Knowledge; Forthcoming in: Proceedings of the 79th Academy of Management Conference, Boston, MA, USA