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Kraft, Tim; Lischke, Linus and Kranz, Johann ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3722-027X (May 2024): How are Mittelstand experiences navigating the digtal transformation process? An exploratory study in Germany. 32nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2024), Paphos, Cyprus, 13-19 June 2024. In: ECIS 2024 Proceedings, 13, 1464

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Abstract

This research investigates the process of digital transformation (DT) in German Mittelstand enterprises (MEs), a critical sector employing over half of the German workforce yet underexplored in DT research. Applying a qualitative approach, we empirically conducted 21 semi-structured interviews across various MEs and key stakeholders to under stand their unique DT process. Our findings reveal the challenges and opportunities faced by MEs throughout the DT process. Thus, this study indicates DT to be a strategic, structural, and cultural problem most prominently influenced by organizational capabilities and the business environment. Furthermore, aspects such as the ownership structure and the uncertain financial impact are addressed. These insights have significant implications: for both the academic discourse, enriching the understanding of DT in an often overlooked economic sector, and for practitioners, guiding targeted initiatives for supporting MEs in their DT journey.

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