The purpose of this paper is to analyze the benefits and drawbacks that strategically imposed liminality inflicts upon inter-organizational digitalization efforts within the different phases of its utilization.
This study empirically examines digitalization in a large multinational manufacturing company, Sandvik Machining Solutions, using data that were collected through interviews and a qualitative research design.
This study shows that a liminal space separated from the structures in which one is supposed to inflict changes increases the risk of developing an incompatible system that will be rejected in the incorporation phase. An inter-organizational perspective on liminality thus contributes to our understanding of the benefits and drawbacks that liminal space can pose for the organizations involved.
The study suggests that, in the separation phase, driving change processes by creating liminal spaces could be a way to loosen up rigid resource structures and circumvent network over-embeddedness. Finding the right amount of freedom, ambiguity and community within the liminal space is, however, essential for the transition of information as well as the incorporation of the imposed changes.
Introducing an inter-organizational perspective on liminality contributes to our understanding of the stress that liminal space can place on individuals as well as the individual organization.
Eklinder Frick, J., Fremont, V., Åge, L. and Osarenkhoe, A. (2020), "Digitalization efforts in liminal space – inter-organizational challenges", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 150-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-12-2018-0392Download as .RIS
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