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Katriina Vartiainen: Digitalising society calls for multifaceted interaction in organisations

Tampere University
LocationKansleririnne 1, Tampere
City centre campus, Pinni B building, auditoriun 1096 and remote connection.
Date12.10.2023 10.00–14.00
Entrance feeFree of charge
For her dissertation, MSc Katriina Vartiainen studied the diffusion of dynamic capability in organisations as operating environments are becoming digital. The interaction between management and employees, employees’ participation in change, and internal multifunctional collaboration were found to be valuable facilitators of diffusion.

Dynamic capability can be understood as an organisation’s capacity to renew its operations to adjust to a changing operating environment. Dynamic capabilities have previously been studied especially in the context of the managerial level of companies.

“I found it important to learn how dynamic capability also manifests itself and develops in an organisation among personnel and not just management,” Katriina Vartiainen says.

Three types of case companies, two of which operate in Finland and one also internationally, participated in the study in 2018–2022. In total, 59 interviews were conducted with 36 informants in different work roles at the case organisations.

The findings show that reciprocity between operative and managerial level dynamic capabilities support the spreading of the capabilities in an organisation. When the members of an organisation interact across different work roles, information is also shared, received, and utilised in a multifunctional manner. This, in turn, helps the diffusion of dynamic capability across the organisation. That is, sensing the need for change, seizing it, and, finally, renewing the organisation in the desired way.

As digitalisation accelerates the pace of change, it seems increasingly important to utilise the dynamic capability of the entire organisation. This makes it easier, for example, to detect the silent signals of well-functioning practices, any new requirements customers may have and potential problems.

The study also provides suggestions for managers on how to support the diffusion of dynamic capability in an organisation. For example, it appears to be important that the goals, effects, methods of attaining, and benefits of change are visible and clear especially to the personnel that participate in the change effort.

“As our society is becoming increasingly digital, we need a more in-depth understanding of working together and of the way organisations develop through daily activities,” Vartiainen sums up.

Katriina Vartiainen is finalising her doctoral degree on a parental leave. Her research interests focus on understanding the connections between digitalisation and the operation of organisations.

Public defence on Thursday 12 October

The doctoral dissertation of MSc Katriina Vartiainen in the field of information systems titled The Diffusion of Dynamic Capability in Organizations in Digitalizing Operating Environments will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences of Tampere University at 13 o’clock on Thursday, 12 October 2023. The venue is auditorium 1096 of the Pinni B building, address: Kanslerinrinne 1, Tampere. The opponents are Professor Emeritus Robert D. Galliers (Bentley University, USA) and Research Manager, Dr. Katri Valkokari (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) while Professor Mikko Ruohonen from the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University will act as Custos.

The doctoral dissertation is available online.

The public defence can be followed via a remote connection.

Photograph: Marko Lehtimäki