The key to scaling in the digital era: Simultaneous automation, individualization and interdisciplinarity

Johannes Gartner, Daniela Maresch, Robert Tierney

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In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework that explains how digital technologies can help small businesses generate competitive advantages for scaling. To gain and sustain competitive advantages, small businesses traditionally had to choose between cost leadership and differentiation strategies. Digital technologies enable small businesses to reduce their costs and at the same time enhance the value of their market offerings through differentiation. The aim of this paper is to explain the role of digital technologies in such hybrid strategies for small businesses. We first identify automation, individualization and interdisciplinarity as the three dimensions of digital technologies that together enable technology-driven firms to gain and sustain competitive advantages and to scale rapidly. Second, we integrate these three dimensions into a theoretical framework. Third, we test and confirm the theoretical framework in an explanatory case study and discuss the results.

TidskriftJournal of Small Business Management
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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