University of Twente Student Theses


Surviving digital disruption : identifying the key digital transformation barriers of multi-channel retailers

Bejta, Michel (2021) Surviving digital disruption : identifying the key digital transformation barriers of multi-channel retailers.

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Abstract:Studies have indicated that multi-channel retailers have suffered losses in market share due to their inability to utilize the opportunities of digital technologies. Therefore, multi-channel retailers must transform digitally to remain competitive in this digital era. Previous studies have indicated however that it is notoriously difficult for organizations that have become successful before the digital era and dominated their industry for a long time to transform digitally. This study therefore investigated the barriers that prevent multi-channel retailers from transforming digitally. In order to do that, barriers have been identified by researching previously published literature and by conducting interviews with industry experts. Thereafter, a well-established decision making technique has been used to rank the barriers in terms of importance to resolve. In total, fifteen barriers have been identified that can be categorized into five barrier categories. The barrier category with the highest overall priority is “organizational barriers”, this implies that although technological innovation underpins digital transformation, industry experts think that organizational barriers prevents them from transforming digitally. The subcarrier with the highest priority is ‘lack of digital culture’ followed by ‘Lack of digital leadership and managerial support’ and ‘lack of organizational agility.’ These findings suggest that multi-channel retailers should start with establishing a digital culture, assessing whether the leaders of the organization have digital capabilities and to establish organizational structures that enables them to quickly respond towards the changing digital environment. Furthermore, what also became clear out of this study is that the lack of resources is one of the least important barriers. The literature however puts emphasis on the lack of resources as a key digital transformation barrier. Further research is needed to understand to what extent lack of resources is a key barrier for multi-channel retailers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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