**Technological Forecasting and Social Change**

***Call for Papers:

*Digitalization and agility: *
Opening up the black box on digitalization and agility: key drivers and 
main outcomes

*Background and motivation*

Agility has emerged as a key critical business success factor for 
companies that strive to remain competitive and innovative (Teece et 
al., 2016). Agility is even more vital with the emergence of disruptive 
digital technologies (Martínez-Climent et al., 2019; Trost, 2019) and in 
the so-called “VUCA” world[1] (Bennett & Lemoine, 2014). In fact, the 
need to be agile is increasingly pressing for firms, especially those 
operating in varied culturally host countries (Fourné et al., 2014), 
where traditional corporate foresight and scenario planning techniques 
necessitate to be upgraded by new digital technologies (Bodwell & 
Chermack, 2010; Vecchiato, 2015).

As a consequence, being “agile” in the modern digital world has been 
explored by many scholars in different fields of research, e.g. 
information technology, supply chain, operations, technology management, 
sustainable productions as well as from the strategic perspective (e.g. 
Doz, 2020; Shams et al., 2020). However, agility is not a stand-alone 
capability but a characteristic resulting from a cluster of competences 
including adaptability, speed, innovation, sustainability and 
organisational resilience (Holbeche, 2018) suggesting an additional 
reframing of the VUCA model in order to take more effective decisions in 
the new digital world (Soriano et al., 2018).

These characteristics require new organizational capabilities (Kane et 
al., 2015) as well as the reconfiguration of resources (Doz & Kosonen, 
2010) and, as such, could be considered as the new dynamic capabilities 
for a digital VUCA world (Millar et al., 2018). In fact, although it is 
very difficult to manage complexity, it is possible to develop key 
organizational capabilities to forestall complexity (Linstone & 
Phillips, 2013; Phillips & Linstone, 2016).

Few studies in the literature (e.g. Lucas & Goh, 2009), along with some 
examples of real companies, advocated that digitalization in a broad 
sense promotes agility in organizations reducing the risk of being stuck 
in rigidity traps, which can lead to business failure (Shams et al., 
2020). From a different perspective, literature suggested that firms 
capitalize on digital technologies and create higher value only when 
agile organizational capabilities are employed and continuously 
developed (Akhtar et al., 2018; Chan et al., 2019). This happens, for 
example, when they are able to predict how these new digital tools will 
affect current business processes, models and products (Scuotto et al., 
2017; Jagtap & Duong, 2019) and when employees driven by a truly digital 
corporate culture are willing to experiment and take risk (Kane et al., 

Notwithstanding the opportunities offered by new digital technologies 
for different business processes and activities, there are still few 
empirical studies on the relationship between digitalization and 
agility, on how the digitalization may contribute to build agility and 
related competences, and how and whether agility fosters the 
implementation of disruptive digital technologies within companies. 
Therefore, there is a need to shed light on the complex relationship 
between agility and digitalization, with regard to drivers and, equally 
important, the effects on different outcomes. In fact, future studies 
should deeply explore the implications for value creation of 
digitalization and agility. This should open up this black box by 
providing evidences on why different organizations can yield drastically 
different outcomes in terms of sustainable strategies, environmental 
collaborations, sustainable innovation, process and product innovation, 
business model innovation, internationalization and ultimately financial 

*Objective and topics*

Therefore, this special section attempts to investigate both the 
“drivers” and “outcomes” of the complex relationship between 
digitalization and agility. Possible topics of papers may include (but 
are not limited to):

The interconnections between firm’s agility and digitalizationDrivers of 
digitalization fostered by agilityOrganizational capabilities that 
favour agility and digitalizationThe role of human resources in agility 
and digitalizationTechnological competences and skills that foster 
agility and digitalizationAgility and digital skills for 
internationalizationAgility, digitalization and technological 
innovationsAgility, digitalization and new sustainable business 
modelAgility, digitalization and sustainable practicesAgility, 
digitalization and financial performance
Paper Submission

Full papers are due April 30, 2021, via the *Technological Forecasting 
and Social Change *submission system. All papers must be submitted in 
the Special Issue category.

*Important Dates:*
**Submission dates: June 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021*

Final Revisions Due (including revisions in response to any second 
reviews): March 31, 2022

*Guest Editors*

Stefano Bresciani, University of Turin (Italy), 
[log in to unmask] (leading guest editor)

Alberto Ferraris, University of Turin (Italy) & Ural Federal University 
(Russia), [log in to unmask]

Gabriele Santoro, University of Turin (Italy), [log in to unmask]

Masaaki Kotabe, Temple University (USA), [log in to unmask]


Akhtar, P., Khan, Z., Tarba, S., & Jayawickrama, U. (2018). The Internet 
of Things, dynamic data and information processing capabilities, and 
operational agility. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 136, 

Bennett, N., & Lemoine, G. J. (2014). What a difference a word makes: 
Understanding threats to performance in a VUCA world. Business Horizons, 
57(3), 311-317.

Bodwell, W., & Chermack, T. J. (2010). Organizational ambidexterity: 
Integrating deliberate and emergent strategy with scenario planning. 
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77(2), 193-202.

Chan, C. M., Teoh, S. Y., Yeow, A., & Pan, G. (2019). Agility in 
responding to disruptive digital innovation: Case study of an SME. 
Information Systems Journal, 29(2), 436-455.

Doz, Y. (2020). Fostering strategic agility: How individual executives 
and human resource practices contribute. Human Resource Management 
Review, 30(1), 100693.

Doz, Y. L., & Kosonen, M. (2010). Embedding strategic agility: A 
leadership agenda for accelerating business model renewal. Long range 
planning, 43(2-3), 370-382.

Fourné, S. P., Jansen, J. J., & Mom, T. J. (2014). Strategic agility in 
MNEs: Managing tensions to capture opportunities across emerging and 
established markets. California Management Review, 56(3), 13-38.

Holbeche, L. (2018). The agile organization: How to build an engaged, 
innovative and resilient business. Kogan Page Publishers.

Jagtap, S., & Duong, L. N. K. (2019). Improving the new product 
development using big data: A case study of a food company. British Food 

Kane, G. C., Palmer, D., Phillips, A. N., & Kiron, D. (2015). Is your 
business ready for a digital future?. MIT Sloan management review, 
56(4), 37.

Linstone, H. A., & Phillips, F. (2013). The simultaneous 
localization–globalization impact of information/communication 
technology. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 7(80), 1438-1443.

Lucas Jr, H. C., & Goh, J. M. (2009). Disruptive technology: How Kodak 
missed the digital photography revolution. The Journal of Strategic 
Information Systems, 18(1), 46-55.

Martínez-Climent, C., Rodríguez-García, M., & Ribeiro-Soriano, D. 
(2019). Digital transformations and value creation in international 
markets. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 

Millar, C. C., Groth, O., & Mahon, J. F. (2018). Management innovation 
in a VUCA world: Challenges and recommendations. California Management 
Review, 61(1), 5-14.

Phillips, F., & Linstone, H. (2016). Key ideas from a 25-year 
collaboration at technological forecasting & social change. 
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 105, 158-166.

Scuotto, V., Santoro, G., Bresciani, S., & Del Giudice, M. (2017). 
Shifting intra‐and inter‐organizational innovation processes towards 
digital business: an empirical analysis of SMEs. Creativity and 
Innovation Management, 26(3), 247-255.

Shams, R., Vrontis, D., Belyaeva, Z., Ferraris, A., & Czinkota, M. R. 
(2020). Strategic agility in international business: A conceptual 
framework for “agile” multinationals. Journal of International 
Management, DOI:

Soriano, D. R., Martinez-Climent, C., & Tur-Porcar, A. M. (2018). 
Innovation, knowledge, judgment and decision-making as virtuous cycles. 
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research,

Teece, D., Peteraf, M., & Leih, S. (2016). Dynamic capabilities and 
organizational agility: Risk, uncertainty, and strategy in the 
innovation economy. California Management Review, 58(4), 13-35.

Trost, A. (2019). Human Resources Strategies: balancing stability and 
agility in times of digitization. Springer Nature.

Vecchiato, R. (2015). Creating value through foresight: First mover 
advantages and strategic agility. Technological Forecasting and Social 
Change, 101, 25-36.

Masaaki "Mike" Kotabe
The Washburn Chair Professor of International Business and Marketing
Past President, Academy of International Business
Temple University
The Fox School of Business
1801 Liacouras Walk
559 Alter Hall (006-14)
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6083
Ph.  215-204-7704
Fax. 215-204-8029

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