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Does TMT internationalization promote corporate digital transformation? A study based on the cognitive process mechanism

Yujiao Chen (School of Pharmaceutical Business, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Zhongshan, China) (NMPA Key Laboratory for Technology Research and Evaluation of Pharmacovigilance, Zhongshan, China) (GDMPA Key Laboratory for Technology Research and Evaluation of Pharmacovigilance, Zhongshan, China)
Rui Li (South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Tiebo Song (South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 5 January 2023

28

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate digital transformation (DT) and top management team (TMT) internationalization seem to be concomitant phenomena in recent years, the former is a major change and a thorough transformation requiring continuously new technologies and ideas. Excitingly, the latter shows a relatively broad vision, a large risk appetite and interest in new things. Does TMT internationalization promote DT? This question is essential for DT. Given that, this article will aim to discuss and examine whether and how TMT internationalization affects corporate DT.

Design/methodology/approach

This article takes China's A-share listed manufacturing companies from 2011 to 2019 as a sample. The quantitative text analysis method is used to measure attention related to digitalization. This paper discusses: (1) The decision-making logic and cognitive process mechanism of “TMT internationalization–attention related to digitalization–corporate DT”. (2) The moderating effect of shared corporate mission of the TMT on the cognitive process of decision-making, that is, the social process of transforming individual cognition into team cognition, and the social process of transforming team cognition into corporate decision-making.

Findings

TMT internationalization promotes DT. As an external manifestation of team cognition, attention plays a positive role as an intermediary mechanism. Specifically, executives with overseas experience have higher urgency assessment and manageable assessment, thus affecting their attention to digitalization positively, thereby promoting DT. This article does not demonstrate the moderating effect of shared corporate mission on the cognitive process, but it promotes DT directly, and only plays a role in the precognitive stage.

Originality/value

This article is the first one to study the relationship between TMT internationalization and corporate DT, which has practical guiding significance for DT and the “going out” strategies of the TMT. Also, the combination of upper echelons theory and cognitive theory opens up the black box of the strategic process. Lastly, this research explores the formation process of team cognition, which is always neglected by previous studies of the TMT demographic characteristics.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This project was supported by the state general program of “National Social Science of China (20BGL103)”.

Citation

Chen, Y., Li, R. and Song, T. (2023), "Does TMT internationalization promote corporate digital transformation? A study based on the cognitive process mechanism", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-06-2021-0376

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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