Invited Speaker
Dr. Henrik Sørensen, Associate Professor

Dr. Henrik Sørensen, Associate Professor

Department of Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Speech Title: Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises Strategizing Digital Transformation: Backend & Frontend Integration for Horizontal Value Creation

Abstract: The research shed light on how Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Board of Directors (BOD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) strategize digital transformation for value creation. The research is based on participative action research (PAR) conducted with 20 SME Chairman of the BODs and CEOs during 2018-2019 to reveal their aim for frontiers in digital transformation. The findings show that SMEs strategize digital transformation for value creation along different paths depending on SME business process context. However, the essential frontier for SME BOD and CEO is found in the horizontal combination of frontend face-to-face & digital products/service processes with backend face-to-face & digital system platform processes to reach for collaboration with external network actors. Digital and face-to-face processes are perceived as interwoven for value creation. The SME BOD and CEO aim for new forntiers to integrate horizontal leadership through strategizing organisational- and network development processes to create value across ecosystems. This goes beyond hitherto literature- and practice understanding of digital transformation as a top-down process emphasizing the coordination role of senior management in the SME. A new frontier for horizontal leadership to organize digital transformation is hereby empirically revealed.

Biography: Henrik Sørensen is an associate professor of Organizational Theory at the University of Aarhus, Department of Management where he also took his master’s degree. Throughout his career he has worked with strategic and organizational issues (especially Design og Organizations, strategy and People and Culture and Technology) not only as an academic but also in practice. He has helped several companies implementing industry 4.0 technologies and also to consider culture, strategy and design issues with new technology. In 1993 he completed his PhD dissertation about the collaboration of companies in strategic alliances.
Henrik Soerensen has taught various subjects within his field such as the Design of Organizational Structures, Company Strategy and Human Resource Management. Furthermore he has written a number of book chapters and articles.