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Facilitation of Digital Culture and Creativity through an Ideation Strategy: A Case Study with an Incumbent Automotive Manufacturer

Authors: K. Ö. Kartal, L. Maul, M. Hägele


With the development of new technologies come additional opportunities for the founding of companies and new markets to be created. The barriers to entry are lowered and technology makes old business models obsolete. Incumbent companies have to be adaptable to this quickly changing environment. They have to start the process of digital maturation and they have to be able to adapt quickly to new and drastic changes that might arise. One of the biggest barriers for organizations in order to do so is their culture. This paper shows the core elements of a corporate culture that supports the process of digital maturation in incumbent organizations. Furthermore, it is explored how ideation and innovation can be used in a strategy in order to facilitate these core elements of culture that promote digital maturity. Focus areas are identified for the design of ideation strategies, with the aim to make the facilitation and incitation process more effective, short to long term. Therefore, one in-depth case study is conducted with data collection from interviews, observation, document review and surveys. The findings indicate that digital maturity is connected to cultural shift and 11 relevant elements of digital culture are identified which have to be considered. Based on these 11 core elements, five focus areas that need to be regarded in the design of a strategy that uses ideation and innovation to facilitate the cultural shift are identified. These are: Focus topics, rewards and communication, structure and frequency, regions and new online formats.

Keywords: Digital transformation, innovation management, ideation strategy, creativity culture, change.

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