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Informal governance in the digital transformation

Jakob Keller (Chair of Business Management, esp. Logistics, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany)
Patricia Burkhardt (Chair of Business Management, esp. Logistics, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany)
Rainer Lasch (Chair of Business Management, esp. Logistics, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 3 August 2021

Issue publication date: 8 September 2021

936

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore if and how informal governance mechanisms are used for coordinating actors of digitalized supply networks.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study analysis of ten German firms in digitalized supply networks is conducted. Data are collected through semi-structured expert interviews with interviewees having notable years of professional experience in purchasing or sales.

Findings

This research shows that reduced personal contacts in digitalized supply networks decrease the ability to coordinate with informal governance mechanisms. However, the need for informal governance in digitalized supply networks remains when facing supply network disruptions or building new business relationships.

Originality/value

This is the first study examining the role of informal governance mechanisms in digitalized supply networks. Theoretical and practical insights on the changing abilities and needs to use informal governance after the digital transformation are given.

Keywords

Citation

Keller, J., Burkhardt, P. and Lasch, R. (2021), "Informal governance in the digital transformation", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 7, pp. 1060-1084. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-09-2020-0660

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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