Digital technology fuels new forms of innovation and can accelerate the inception, scaling, and evolution of new ventures. An article by Satish Nambisana, Mike Wright, and Maryann Feldman titled “The digital transformation of innovation and entrepreneurship: Progress, challenges and key themes” demonstrates the value of developing a research agenda to understand these factors.
They make the case that it is important to understand the implications of digitization throughout an entrepreneurship community. They explain that this type of transformation for entrepreneurship “holds implications for policy makers and other stakeholders, especially as digitization can translate into innovation productivity gains, increased regional entrepreneurial activity, and broader economic and social gains.”
The article outlines several areas where further research is needed in order to support the digital transformation of entrepreneurship. Key areas for consideration include:
- How does “openness” promote entrepreneurship for individuals, within organizations, and at the community level through policy? Openness, as explained in the article, is characterized by the sharing and flow of knowledge and technological assets. Further research could explore how individuals participate in entrepreneurial ecosystems or collaborate by digital means; how organizations determine the openness of their digital platforms and the extent to which their innovation is crowd-based; and how the use of open data can better address societal issues.
- What are the consequences of “generativity” for individuals and broader society? The authors describe the generative process of blending inputs to form something new, but the consequences are not always linear or predictable. With digital innovations within organizations, for example, there is a natural tension between the need to share knowledge to enhance generativity in crowdsourced platforms, and need to protect a firm’s intellectual property. While existing research focuses on technologies at the product or organizational level, there is little focus on consequences of generativity for individuals and broader society when it comes to digital transformation of entrepreneurship.
The authors also include summaries of other scholarly articles that relate to these themes. The authors invite further consideration of the implications particularly at multiple levels and from diverse disciplinary perspectives.
The full article can be accessed here.
Contributed by Leah D. Barto.