To read this content please select one of the options below:

B2b inter‐organisational digitalisation strategies: Towards an interaction‐based approach

Reimer Ivang (Department of Business Studies, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark)
Morten Rask (Department of Management, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark)
Robert Hinson (Department of Marketing, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana)

Direct Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1750-5933

Article publication date: 16 October 2009




Digital technology is increasingly important for businesses as it has the capability to enable, support and sometimes influence the overall strategic direction of the corporation. This paper investigates business‐to‐business (b2b) inter‐organisational digitalisation strategies in one of Denmark's biggest companies with an annual turnover of €3 billion and over 30,000 employees. This paper specifically seeks to understand to what extent the widely used strategic continuum (planning – incremental) is sufficient to understand the process of creating inter‐organisational digitalisation strategies in the case.


This paper utilises degree of freedom analysis (DFA). DFA is in essence a “pattern‐matching” between theoretical propositions and observations in a set of data. Inline with the DFA tradition in‐depth interviews were conducted and finally the results and interpretations are returned to the respondents for final feedback.


This paper concludes that a strategic continuum spanning planning to interaction, where the incremental approach is in the middle is more powerful as an analytical tool in relation to the specific case. The case further illustrated that the actors in the empiric context utilising the digital technology successfully mostly organised their strategic work as described in the interaction approach to digitalisation strategy.

Practical implications

The study demonstrates a pragmatic route to deepening digitalisation success in a large firm with considerable e‐business investments.


Documenting the need for new thinking and theorising in the area of digitalisation strategy. This paper opens the organisational black box relating to how strategy actually is performed and, thus, helps to develop a more holistic understanding of how strategies are developed and implemented. Finally, this is one of the few studies utilising DFA to understand digitalisation strategy.



Ivang, R., Rask, M. and Hinson, R. (2009), "B2b inter‐organisational digitalisation strategies: Towards an interaction‐based approach", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 244-261.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles