Digital transformation of advanced engineering companies


Emergent digital technology penetrate deeply into the very core of products, services and operations and trigger strategic transformation of companies and underlying organisational capabilities and resources. The advances in digital technologies have directed the attention of management researchers at investigating the emergence of service-driven companies that operate in multisided platform-based ecosystem (e.g. software and consumer internet). In the context of advanced engineering sectors digitalisation has been addressed either as an enabler of incremental improvements of exiting processes and products or as aspirational technological visions (e.g. Industry 4.0) absent of any systemic approach of how to implement strategic transformation.

This research will systematically investigate to what extent emerging digital technologies get integrated into new products, services and supply chain processes (innovation outcomes). It will also explore the strategic action and decisions that affect organisational capabilities underpinning product, service and supply chain innovation.

Three aspects of digital transformation will be holistically addressed: 

  1. What organisational capabilities are needed to innovate supply chain processes by adopting emergent digital technologies?
  2. How advanced engineering companies integrate product innovation with business model innovation and platform strategy?
  3. To what extent the integration of digital technologies into product and processes affect the very strategic identity and intent of the advanced engineering companies?

The above three central question will be addressed with two interdependent work packages. First, in-depth collaborative research will be conducted with a number of selected companies (e.g. automotive, space, medical, construction) in order to produce an evidence-based framework for guiding digital transformation. Second, a bespoke data-base will be created in order to enable tracking development of organisational capabilities for digital innovation and strategic transformation in the advanced engineering sectors.