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Digital Capabilities for Buffering Tensions of Structure, Space, and Time during Entrepreneurial Growth

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Digital technologies are critical to virtually any fast-growing entrepreneurial organizations in a variety of ways. A common theme in entrepreneurial growth literature involves conceiving of growth as a liminal period of transition when certain start-up-related structures and behaviors persist, while other, more professional practices emerge. In this study, we report on an exploratory study of 20 fast-growing entrepreneurial organizations to understand how digitalization influences management practices in entrepreneurial growth. We extend the "digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship" by showing how digital technologies and the development of associated digital capabilities can provide a buffer through which entrepreneurial organizations can professionalize their organizations. Digital capabilities for entrepreneurial growth stand in sharp contrast to those of established organizations. Key enablers of growth call for a layered modular view of digital technologies, stepwise implementation, partial integration, and reuse on the content and service layers.
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Digital Capabilities for Entrepreneurial Growth
Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 1
Digital Capabilities for Buffering Tensions of
Structure, Space, and Time during
Entrepreneurial Growth
Completed Research Paper
Sanja Tumbas
IESE Business School
Barcelona, Spain
stumbas@iese.edu
Nicholas Berente
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia USA
berente@uga.edu
Jan vom Brocke
University of Liechtenstein
Vaduz, Liechtenstein
jan.vom.brocke@uni.li
Abstract
Digital technologies are critical to virtually any fast-growing entrepreneurial
organizations in a variety of ways. A common theme in entrepreneurial growth literature
involves conceiving of growth as a liminal period of transition when certain start-up-
related structures and behaviors persist, while other, more professional practices
emerge. In this study, we report on an exploratory study of 20 fast-growing
entrepreneurial organizations to understand how digitalization influences management
practices in entrepreneurial growth. We extend the “digital technology perspective of
entrepreneurship” by showing how digital technologies and the development of
associated digital capabilities can provide a buffer through which entrepreneurial
organizations can professionalize their organizations. Digital capabilities for
entrepreneurial growth stand in sharp contrast to those of established organizations. Key
enablers of growth call for a layered modular view of digital technologies, stepwise
implementation, partial integration, and reuse on the content and service layers.
Keywords: Digital entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial growth, Digital capabilities, Organizational
tensions
Digital Capabilities for Entrepreneurial Growth
Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 2
Introduction
In recent years there has been increased attention to digitalization of entrepreneurial activities including
crowdfunding (Ahlers et al. 2015; Bruton et al. 2015; Burtch et al. 2013), marketing, and other outward-
facing activity (Nambisan and Zahra 2016; Smith et al. 2017). However, digital technologies are critical to
virtually any fast-growing young entrepreneurial organizations in a variety of ways (Huang et al. 2017;
Nambisan 2016; Tumbas et al. 2015). As Nambisan (2016) points out, digital technologies are upending
many fundamental tenets of entrepreneurship scholarship. He calls for a “digital technology perspective”
of entrepreneurship to unpack the way digital technologies shape contemporary entrepreneurial activity
(Nambisan 2016). Nevertheless, research to date is still rarely addressing how digitalization impacts one of
the most turbulent phases in entrepreneurial organizations growth.
Over the past decades there has been abundant research into management practices necessary for
entrepreneurial organizations to grow (Delmar et al. 2003; Leitch et al. 2010). This research stream is large,
dispersed (DeSantola and Gulati 2017) and tends to focus on antecedents, enablers, and outcomes
associated with entrepreneurial growth (Wright and Stigliani 2013). Some relate challenges of growth to
highly attached founders (Adizes 1979) and lack of professional management, others describe the
transitions as several revolutionary periods for establishing delegation, control and coordination (Greiner
1972).
Overall, growth in young entrepreneurial organizations differs from large established ones (Gilbert et al.
2006; Penrose 1959). A common theme in entrepreneurial growth literature involves conceiving of growth
as a liminal period of transition when certain start-up-related structures and behaviors persist, while other,
more professional practices emerge (Gilbert et al. 2006; McKelvie and Wiklund 2010). The goal of our
research is to explore the role of digital technologies in this transitional period of growth and
professionalization of entrepreneurial organizations.
If Nambisan’s (2016) assertion is correct that digital technologies are changing the way entrepreneurial
organizations do things internally we need to explore the impact of digital technologies on management
practices that enable entrepreneurial growth. Digital technologies are not only related to increasing
transparency in the organization (Street & Meister, 2004), reducing complexity (Kagan, Lau, & Nusgart,
1990), or addressing specific challenges related to business functions such as accounting or production
(Mitchell, Reid, & Terry, 1997; Pierre-André & Raymond, 1994). On the contrary, digital technologies are
general purpose technologies (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014) and enable generative processes
(Henfridsson and Bygstad 2013; Huang et al. 2017; Zittrain 2006). Digital technologies are viewed as a
layered architecture consisting of the device, network, service and content layer (Kallinikos et al. 2013; Yoo
et al. 2010) and are characterized by features such as reprogramability, modularity, decoupling between
data and device as well as a self-referential nature (Yoo et al. 2010).
In this paper we report on an exploratory study of 20 fast-growing entrepreneurial organizations to see how
they leverage digital technologies during organizational growth. Our focus is on the inner working of the
entrepreneurial organizations, and the main goal is to understand how digital technologies influence
management practices in periods of organizational growth and maturity management practices which are
well established in entrepreneurship research (Davidsson 2016; McKelvie and Wiklund 2010). During this
exploratory data collection and analysis, we drew on a number of relevant theoretical perspectives to inform
our findings.
First of all, we identified tensions associated with organizational growth that were consistent with
tensions that have been identified in the entrepreneurship literature. We focused on these structural,
temporal, and spatial tensions in each round of data collection, analysis, and attention to literature
(Alvesson and Krreman 2011; Poole and Van de Ven 1989; Smith and Lewis 2011). We rooted our thinking
in the literature digital capabilities (Overby et al. 2006; Woodard et al. 2013) to conceptualize the role of
digital technologies in the study. We find that digital technologies and related capabilities act as layered
buffers during entrepreneurial growth in organizations. Digitalization is important for entrepreneurial
growth because it affords organizations to shift between contradicting working modes: professionalizing
the organization but at the same time maintaining necessary flexibility and agility.
The paper is structured as follows. First, we briefly review the literature on practices that entrepreneurial
organizations employ as they grow, followed by an introduction to the digital technology perspective of
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 3
entrepreneurship. Then we present the conceptualization of digital capabilities in this paper. Next we
describe our study and present the findings. This is followed by a discussion of our perspective on how
digital technologies can help entrepreneurial organizations with their internal processes and management
practices, as they grow and navigate tensions associated with this growth.
Related Literature
Professionalizing Practices during Entrepreneurial Growth
Growth is a stage in an organizational lifecycle, which takes place after its founding and involves the
transition to scale and professional management practice. This stage involves establishing stable
leadership, control, and coordination practices for the organization (Adizes 1979; Greiner 1972).
Entrepreneurial growth is portrayed in the literature through two conflicting narratives: endurance and
change (DeSantola and Gulati 2017). Endurance narratives emphasize on the development of a young
organization and early decisions of founders that condition the further development of the organization. In
contrast, change narratives set a strong focus on practices that organizations need to change during growth
in order to transition.
As entrepreneurial organizations grow, they transition from practices that enabled them to thrive in the
startup phase those that arise largely from the hands-on energy of the founders to mature, professional
practices, which involve standardization and delegation of authority. Entrepreneurial and professional
management differ across a variety of dimensions, including questions about profit, planning, performance
management, budgeting, innovation, leadership, and others (Flamholtz and Randle 2015). Typically, “when
the organization doubles in size (revenues, production volume, annual budget, or number of employees) it
requires a different infrastructure” (Flamholtz and Randle 2015, p. 94). Thus, a liminal period of
distributing decision rights, formalization, and control is vital to rapid entrepreneurial growth. Before
transitioning to a more established enterprise, growing entrepreneurial organizations must professionalize
their internal processes and management practices (Charan et al. 1980; Hellmann and Puri 2002;
Wasserman 2003).
A classic example of a “founder’s trap” involves a highly-involved founder that becomes a micromanaging
hindrance as an organization scales (Adizes 1979). There is often a leadership crisis in periods of growth
(Dobrev and Barnett 2005; Kesner and Sebora 1994) that is marked by founders who often have difficulty
handing over control of their companies to professional managers (Adizes 1988). Some argue that venture
capitalists trigger a process during which organizations professionalize faster (Davila and Foster 2007;
Hellmann and Puri 2002). Although there is no specific fit in terms of the required skills of executives who
professionalize the organization (Wasserman 2003), it is clear that top management change in such
contexts is different compared from that in established organizations (Boeker and Karichalil 2002; Boeker
and Wiltbank 2005).
To present contrasting aspects of organizational growth practices, we take inspiration from the general
framing of tensions put forth by Poole and Van de Ven (1989) where they differentiate between structural,
temporal, and spatial aspects of studying organizational tensions (Andriopoulos and Lewis 2009; Smith
and Lewis 2011). Growing organizations face various situations in which current requirements need to be
fulfilled while simultaneously introducing new modes of operating. Entrepreneurial growth is a process that
unfolds in time consisting of “contradictory yet interrelated dualities that exist simultaneously and persist
over [a certain period of] time” (Smith and Lewis 2011, p. 396). In Table 1, we frame organizational tensions
during rapid growth in the light of three dimensions: structural, temporal and spatial tension. Next, we
describe each in turn (see overview in Table 1):
1. Structural tensions: Professionalizing management, team formation, formalization and control are
important for organizations during growth. Employing or appointing professional managers and the
focus on quality may result in a skills gap among existing employees (Hellmann and Puri 2002;
Beckman and Burton 2008). Thus, the organization defines skill related tasks, leading to functional
specialization. Nevertheless, organizations also seek to avoid rigidity and bureaucratic processes (Kerr
et al. 2014; Marx and Hsu 2015). Too much centralization is not desirable for scaling an organization.
2. Spatial tensions: In addition to internal changes in formalization, team formation and organizational
design, the internal view of the organization is often tightly connected to the environment (Davidsson
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2016). Structural changes are relevant for these organization, however, to remain flexible the
organization needs to take an outside-in view and remain agile to constantly screen the environment.
Engagement with key audiences is particularly relevant for young organizations and the boundaries of
those organizations can be quite permeable (Fisher et al. 2017). For example, involvement of venture
capitalists may influence professionalization (Hellmann and Puri 2002), gaining additional resources
(Fisher et al. 2017). Hence, appealing to the environment has an impact on growth (Khaire 2010).
3. Temporal tensions: A constant major challenge of the organization continues to be the management
of cash flow which can become especially salient during growth. As fixed costs increase through the
transition period, the organization needs to become selective about choosing certain areas relevant for
investing. For gaining an overview and continuity, the growing organization starts planning more
regularly. Planning horizons move from short term to mid-term. Overall, move from ad-hoc decisions
to a more structured approach also leads to development of new capabilities.
Table 1. Overview of contradicting Organizational Practices during Entrepreneurial Growth
adapted from Poole & Van de Ven (1989)
Dimension of
Tension
Description of organizational practices
Structure:
Persisting existing
organizational
design vs. changes
that facilitate
growth
Formalization, hierarchy and streamlining
core processes. The organization defines
rules and policies, aims to institutionalize
structures, develop systems of control and
delegation leading to functional
specialization. At the same time persisting
initial flexible structures and swiftly
adjusting to practices by changing directions
in the organization’s path.
Space:
Internal view of the
entrepreneurial
organization vs.
link with the
environment
Growth as process “within organization.” As
opposed to linking inner working with
external environment and including
screening of the environment.
Temporality:
Initial resource
scarcity and short-
term planning
horizon vs. mid-
term planning
The organization is selective about investing
in certain areas of their activity and
prioritizing. Available resources and
liquidity, short term investments. In contrast
to nurturing a more strategic and long term
view of the growth process.
The “Digital” Side of Entrepreneurship
Many contemporary entrepreneurial organizations are founded upon digital platforms (McKenny et al.
2017; Mollick 2014). These organizations discover, reshape and realize opportunities based on insights
generated from aggregated data on those platforms (Nambisan and Zahra 2016). Such entrepreneurial
organizations are “born digital, whereas others begin to incorporate digital capabilities more broadly as
they grow in order to swiftly transform (Huang et al. 2017; Tumbas et al. 2015). The “digital technology
perspective” on entrepreneurial outcomes and processes (Nambisan 2016) is increasingly relevant for all
sorts of entrepreneurial organizations.
There are significant implications of digital entrepreneurship for various stakeholders interested in
business and social value (Fang et al. 2017, p. 1). Nevertheless, at the moment there are few studies that
explicitly look into the role of digital technologies during growth. Current research focused on business
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 5
models that provide digital services (Huang et al. 2017) and emphasized the generative capability of digital
technologies (Antonopoulou et al. 2016; Kelestyn and Henfridsson 2014).
The role of digital technologies in young entrepreneurial organizations is often related to increasing
transparency (Street & Meister, 2004), reducing complexity (Kagan, Lau, & Nusgart, 1990), or addressing
specific challenges related to business functions such as accounting or production (Mitchell, Reid, & Terry,
1997; Pierre-André & Raymond, 1994). If we view digital technologies through their generative capacity
(Henfridsson and Bygstad 2013), digital components are reprogrammable, lead to increasingly decoupled
device and content layers and they are self-referential (Yoo et al. 2010). These attributes facilitate
digitalization that influences entrepreneurial outcomes and processes to become less bounded (Nambisan
2016).
Particularly in the context of young entrepreneurial organizations, digital resources of the organization are
fluid and often not owned but controlled or even only temporarily used. Examples such as cloud computing
platforms, scrapping data from social media platforms or using other third-party services. To address the
role of digital technologies, we draw on concepts that describe digital resources and originate from studies
in large established organizations (Sawyaradaj et al. 2013). Although young and established organizations
might follow a different investment logic both rely heavily on accumulated digital capabilities.
Conceptualizing Digital Capabilities in Entrepreneurial Organizations
The accumulated stock of digital technologies and associated capabilities create options for organizations
that they can utilize to respond to opportunities (Sandberg et al. 2014; Woodard et al. 2013; Tumbas et al.
2015). Sometimes conceived in terms of design capital,” such digital capabilities refer to all customer facing
systems, internal, architectural and other components in light of the modular layered architecture view of
digital technologies (Woodard et al. 2013; Yoo et al. 2010). In addition to design capital, the organization
needs technical competencies in order to digitalize growth practices. Technical competencies are skills that
together with design capital result in development of digital capabilities.
Thus, in the context of rapid growth, digital capabilities are organizational practices enabled by design
capital and competencies that enable the organization to transition this turbulent phase. However,
entrepreneurial organizations can seldom invest upfront and waiting longer periods of time to experience
the impact. Instead, growth-oriented organizations often need to pivot (McDonald and Gao 2016),
experimenting (Kerr et al. 2014) and changing their direction swiftly.
Established organizations also experience phases of resource scarcity. In these situations, established firms
are less likely to create digital options (Woodard et al. 2013). The consequences are mostly increase in
technical debt or abandonment of particular options. Even if new options are generated based on situations
of scarce digital capabilities, these options are generally thought to be of low value.
The state of resource scarcity, however, is a natural state for entrepreneurial organizations during growth.
In this study, we are particularly interested in understanding the role of digitalization for professionalizing
these organizations. Rooted in the literature on entrepreneurial growth and the emerging “digital
technology perspective of entrepreneurship” together form the backdrop of our study. Next, we describe
the study and findings.
Research Design
Overview of Research Approach
Taking a qualitative lens on entrepreneurship phenomenon has gained increasing prevalence in
entrepreneurship (Alvarez et al. 2015; Baert et al. 2016; Suddaby et al. 2015; Wiklund et al. 2011) as well as
information systems field (Antonopoulou et al. 2016; Huang et al. 2017; Kelestyn and Henfridsson 2014).
A qualitative research design allows for intense, open ended, exploratory analysis that supports theorizing
in new ways from empirical data. This novel theorizing cannot ignore existing research, however, and
therefore this study iterates between the phenomenon and theoretical lens (Wikund et al. 2011).
The key feature of our methodological approach is iteration and emergence (Seidel and Urquhart 2013) and
we take a process view of growth (Moroz and Hindle 2012). We align with recommended steps according
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to grounded theory methodology (Charmaz 2006; Suddaby 2006). Therefore, data analysis is conducted
concurrently with data collection (see Table 2). Grounded theory is not a mechanistic execution of steps
(Suddaby 2006), thus the “tension” framing allowed us to problematize arising contradictory questions
about growth (Alvesson and Krreman 2011). Throughout the process we engaged with existing literature
(Bowen 2008) which was presented in the previous two sections.
In this research, theory is the result of the researchers’ work in the field and is seen as deliberately
constructed (Charmaz 2006). The key imperative is to remain open during the research process while
embracing existing theories rather than postponing the use of it but instead demands that we include of
the repertoire of vocabularies and theories that can be mobilized in order for us to consider more or less
evident aspects(Alvesson and Krreman 2011, p. 37).
During our field visits at the first four firms (InnoSports, MakeMashine and SellGift) we learned that digital
technologies play a significant role during entrepreneurial growth. As we proceeded with data collection,
the authors engaged in discussions between data collection rounds. Some of the initial themes became
secondary to our analysis in later steps. For example, in the beginning, some of the executives talked about
core and supporting business processes in their organization. As a result we further explored this topic,
however, this was not the case in the other organizations. After the initial analysis, we returned to one of
the original firms (SellGift) for further inquiry about digitalization practices during growth. Based on these
insights, we sampled for organizations that have successfully transitioned the growth phase.
Data Collection and Analysis
Data collection involved 20 different organizations from various industry sectors, including 30 interviews
with the overall length of 33 hours and 40 minutes, and with an average interview time of approximately
53 minutes. To gain in-depth insights, our key informants were founders of the organizations, employees
in key decision-making roles and also some of the very first employees. The interviewees from all rounds of
data collection together with their roles are presented in Table 2. The interview protocol developed
throughout the study was refined after each round of data collection when the authors discussed their
tentative insights.
Initially, we performed open coding on a smaller sample of organizations, looking for general concepts in
the data. We found that the transition period was particularly relevant to some of the early interviews, and
then we engaged in constant comparative analysis between our interviews and existing research (Charmaz
2006). Informed by ideas from the literature in conjunction with our data, we actively sampled new
companies based on the findings from previous rounds of coding (i.e. “theoretical sampling”). With new
rounds of data analysis, we continued the open coding and eventually engaged in cycles of axial (relations
among concepts) and selective (highlight focused) coding of the data. Finally, we moved to a conceptual
level and abstracted away from the raw data in this inductive theory building process.
Table 2. Overview of Organizations and Respondents
Company
Interviewee Role
No. of interviews
InnoSports
Executive
1
MakeMashine
Co-founder
1
SellGift
Executive
2
SellBox
Co-founder
1
BuildHouse
Executive
1
LabPlant
Manager
1
PrintLarge
Executive
1
TelematicSoft
Co-founder
1
SellHardware
Founder
1
EduCorp
Executive
2
TVShop
Executive
2
WebPortal
Co-founder
1
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FranchiseSoft
Founder
1
ERPSoft
Co-founder, executive, manager
3
SimulationSoft
Founder, managers and employee
4
ConsultAnalytics 1
Employee
1
ConsultAnalytics 2
Executive
2
NearshoreSoft
Founder
1
HRSoft
Founder
1
CommercePlatform
Executive
1
30
During the research process we identified relevant literature that provided us with the vocabulary presented
in the background setion. Next we present how existing coneptual understanding of entrepreneurial growth
relates to the data that we collected.
Key Definitions
In this research, entrepreneurship is understood as a phenomenon that “drives the market process.All
organizations in our sample were founded for the purpose of carrying out economic activity: provide
customer with new choices, stimulate incumbent actors to compete, or even attract new companies to enter
the market (Davidsson 2016; Davidsson et al. 2006). The main scope of this paper are young
entrepreneurial organizations. Growth differs in these organizations as compared to large established ones
(Penrose 1996) and is regarded as an especially desirable state (Levie and Lichtenstein 2010).
Rapid entrepreneurial growth is a phase in the organization’s lifecycle at the transition between the
“startup” phase and the more mature organizational form. During this critical time companies start
increasingly relying on digital technologies in various areas of their activities. Rapid growth is
conceptualized as a process (Moroz and Hindle 2012) typically experienced as: increasing number of
employees, generating more sales, raising number of transactions, opening a new market, getting a new key
customer. Our interview participants describe growth in terms of extreme load in day to day transactions,
number of machines and spanning variety of services offered, first key customer, and others. The founder
of HRSoft described how the first key customer pushed growth:
“…one of the most important events back at this time was when we gained one of the biggest
supermarket chains as our customerWe had the chance to win them for recruiting and it
was quite astonishing for the market because you wouldn’t expect that such a big company
would use such an unknown small company’s product to do the recruitingwe somehow took
off because we now had a lot of credibility and this company as a customer.” (Founder,
HRSoft)
In SellBox the growth phase was marked by becoming a nation-wide recognized organization:
“Younger buyers began to dabble with purchasing and finding vendors on the Internet...I
remembered the statistic, we had done 82% of our business shipped to within 30 miles of our
factory and it had shifted in a matter of literally, two or three years when...completely flip
flopped where about 75% to 80% of our business was shipped outside of the state…So by
having that online presence…we grew very, very fast.” (Founder, SellBox)
The key theme that we shaped further from our iterative analysis is the role of digital technologies at the
heart of organizational tensions tied with rapid growth. Digital technologies are entangled with
organizational growth practices during entrepreneurial growth: in persisting and changing organizational
design, taking an internal and external view of the organization and considering temporarily limited
resource scarcity and lack of capabilities as well as underdeveloped planning practices. Our respondents
continuously described how formalization, quality control, specialization, liquidity, planning, flexibility and
considering the environment were triggered or complemented by digital technologies. Overall, in the
process of professionalization digitalization plays an important role. Based on these findings we identified
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growth related digital capabilities. To illustrate our findings, we provide narratives of different
organizational practices.
Findings
Organizational Practices during Growth and Digital Technologies
1. The role of digital technologies in organizational designing during growth: formalization
vs. flexibility
In this section we present examples of how digital technologies played a role in establishing a new working
mode while enduring the old one. Digital technologies supported establishing formalization and retaining
flexibility. InnoSports underwent major formalization activities during the implementation of an enterprise
wide information system. As the first COO explained there was a major lack of procedures the enterprise
system has made them reflect upon, introduce and change many of their ongoing activities. Already before
the implementation has started, but also during and after, the organization gradually became more aware
of how certain tasks are executed, who is in charge, what are bottlenecks in the process:
“So, people knew their areas that they worked in. But there was so much crossover and lack of
definition.” … “the culture was fly by the seat of our pants. I said no titles no accountability, no
responsibility, no definition. …During our go-live…that we did over 7 months it gave us
enough time to get business process owners defined ... And say what is that you are doing in
QuickBooks [accounting software], why are you doing it that way?” (COO, InnoSports)
Such examples abound in our data (Table 3), for example, the founder of FranchiseSoft explained how they
formalized the process of establishing business process ownership as they implemented their internal
Wikipedia for knowledge sharing. At ERPSoft, the first business analyst refers to the complexity of having
numerous product versions, but no centralized database of source code. Here, the versioning system has
helped the organization restructure the core product development process. Another interesting case was
SimulationSoft, where the software development process became formalized after the hectic number of
requests that the company started receiving from their customers.
Table 3. Formalizing Activities with Digital Technologies
Name of category
Example quote
Define process
owners and
document
knowledge in the IT
system
“From the beginning, I was the process owner of every process in the company.
With growth … I said 'Okay too much work load on me', so we established a first
level support team and the team leader was responsible then for all the first
level support activities and [had] contact with the software development team
in any situation where was needed then.” (Founder, FranchiseSoft)
Streamline existing
process and reduce
redundancies in
working procedure
“We had a system greatly parameterized, literally for a one client you can
parameterize any part of that, and make it work only for him, while for some
other client is not working. Our system had somewhere over 2-3 thousand
parameters … Then we started to use tools for source codes … that allowed us to
compare the codes and centralize… The procedure of work was changing and
forming, because it was not existent before.” (Business analyst, ERPSoft)
Standardize core
process and
establish project
management
“These are basically the Confluence and JIRA - tools that we use - the most
important ones where all the information is stored. As soon as we get the
signature to do one feature we start to use Confluence and from there all things
starts for the project management.” (IT Project mng, SimulationSoft)
The generalist skill set from the early times of the organization is changing dramatically. Specialization
opens up the need for new positions to be established, for example
(this role) wasn't there from the beginning. We had to create a quality assurance role ... It
was very important, and when I created this role I thought this could maybe be a waste of
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money, but it wasn't, it was very important and we could have never reach this state of ability
and reliability that we have now in our system...otherwise.” (Founder, TelematicSoft)
Organizations develop systems of control and delegation mechanisms. When new executives are hired, they
drive a certain choice of software. Thus, digital skills required to use those systems are also related to the
processes of professionalizing the organization. The CFO in TVShop further explained:
“When we set up Amazon, we had a person who was in charge to set up Amazon and in the end
it was more or less a full time job to take care of all these third party platforms ….Amazon,
Paypal and eBay, and the others even in customer care we have a person who is only
taking care of platform business.” (Executive, TVShop)
Professional managers also drive the process of knowledge decentralization and aim to delegate
transparently. The founder of WebPortal describes specific tools for allowing a process to delegate tasks
and define access rights for decision making in the organizations:
“ActiveCollab … is useful if I'm going to delegate a task to my personal assistant, I enter it in
the task manager: go there, copy that and she will see the task below.” (Founder, WebPortal)
Despite the structure and formalization, entrepreneurial organizations seek to persist the spirit “from early
days” and remain responsive and shift direction with relative ease (see Table 4 for examples). At SellGift,
flexibility was attached to the use of a dynamic eCommerce website and online analytics to better
understand their customers. Internal social media allowed CommercePlatform to collaboration and
exchange from remote locations. Also, FranchiseSoft mentioned Wikipedia pages - initially sounding as a
structuring device - however, as we learned later, the information and processes were continuously edited.
Table 4. Retain Flexibility with Digital Technologies
Name of category
Example quote
Developing sensory
digital
competencies to
retain agility
“It is where the growth is. It's. It's helping to stay flexible because it allows us to
see the buying pattern of customers and buyers, help to see which products are
attracting them to our website where we can make quick adaptation and quick
changes to strategy to make sure we're maximizing efforts in the eCommerce
world.” (Executive, SellGift)
Fostering
collaboration with
digital tools to
allow for constant
exchange
“I would say the collaboration tools that allow not only audio but video,
especially when it was possibly for a larger group then to meet and discuss. And
web-based and browser-based source where you can discuss in a written form or
create documents and save information, plan together. That was what the
Confluence and Jira did for us.” (Manager, CommercePlatform)
Flexible
information
sharing
“When we implemented the internal Wiki it was all written there… However, it
was always emerging, we kept changing it depending on our needs very simple
to use.” (Founder, FranchiseSoft)
2. The role of digital technologies for spatial shifting during growth: internal organization
wide and external focus
Both in literature and our respondents often narrated as if the more internal and isolated view of
entrepreneurial organizations is quite natural and stand alone. For example, when the LabPlant manager
explains about the way they optimized their processes, without mentioning external triggers for this event
(Table 5). This is sometimes really the case, similar to what the co-founder of TelematicSoftware explained
about their quality assurance role (see Table 5). Tremendously streamlining processes in TVShop as the
executive described:
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“The system recognizes the customer, brings the whole customer history to the agent. This
information we have, we try to use right in the beginning and use this information for other
sales channels like Internet, communication, direct marketing as well.(Executive, TVShop)
Table 5. Internal Focus with Digital Technologies
Name of category
Example quote
Reduce redundancies
using a system for
versioning
“What we need to do though is - have it written into that program so it only
has to get entered one time. So if she [the administrative employee] is logging
it in…it prints out those five stickers. […] It’s first entered […] in the computer
and then we generate just stickers that have the IDs on them so there is no
more handwriting.” (Manager, LabPlant)
Create milestone and
quality assurance in
the process using an
IT system
“If the quality team says okay this can be published then you make a new
release of it and then all this new work code that we can create with the
systems help us to reduce complexities for developers and for their
supervisors very much.” (Co-founder, TelematicSoft)
Focus on streamlining
internal process
“This information comes through the whole process and so this is the actually
our main business so we cannot work over manual with every order or every
shipment or every…It’s from incoming orders, to returns, to whatever, it’s
very much optimized.” (Executive, TVShop)
However, young organizations, especially during growth are highly dependent on their environment.
Therefore, collecting and using information about the environment is what many organizations during
growth implement digital technologies for:
“Once we define processes, they have to remain that way. Innovation will surface in the
following: as far as I understand the entrepreneurial spirit, it means that throughout the year
even though I can’t change anything – I can at least keep collecting information on what the
environment needs, how it reacts, etc. This is the information I could use when creating
something new.” (Director, EduCorp)
Our respondents described various situations in which the internal view of the organization during growth
is very much linked to more outside-in view (illustrations in Table 6). Entrepreneurial organizations seek
legitimacy. Some foster reputation through online presence. This was the reason for SellGift to implement
a fully functional dynamic e-commerce site. Then others keep their “innovative image” through being early
adopters, and also acquiring certificates to signal their capacity to comply with environmental needs.
Table 6. Environmental influence and Digital Technologies
Name of category
Example quote
Fostering reputation
building using digital
channels
“A lot of our reputation we built on using Facebook, basically our website,
that's not CRM or task manager, basically our complete reputation is built
online. We use technologies to create websites and we use Facebook to create
reputation a lot. … We did it when Facebook became more popular in our
country, I would say in 2008/09. For every company, we had a Fan page on
FB, for example Cars had 200 000 fans.” (Founder, WebPortal)
First mover
advantage to
implement an IT
system
“The first one to implement a fully-functional and dynamically-driven e-
commerce site […] so we're the first one to have the database-driven site where
you could do dynamic searches on, characters or things or messages or seasons
or whatever, and I mean, that, definitely was advantage because we got in.” (IT
Director, SellGift)
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 11
Acquiring
certification based on
documented and
digitized processes
“But above all, the formalization process influenced gaining reputation, by this
I mean the official standardization process. In parallel to the ERP
implementation we became ISO certified. There are only two companies in the
town that have ISO 27000 standards. It is related to handling privacy sensitive
data with banks, insurance companies and public institutions.” (Founder,
SellHardware )
3. The temporal shifting role of digital technologies: short term resource scarce pivoting vs.
long term stabilizing decisions
Entrepreneurial organizations have scarce resources and capabilities. Maturing in terms of attitude towards
investments during rapid growth means that the organization remains selective in deciding to pour
resources in fixed costs. Digital technologies allow organizations to take these decisions in a stepwise
manner investing only the necessary in the beginning extending this base further in the organization.
“I think it was mainly driven from financial perspective…because right from the beginning,
we knew that this is not a really modern system and we could be more efficient do more
with our customer data. You know our processes are not really as smooth as they could be...
but we were not able to implement all the things at once because we could not do it because
of financial issue ... We did step by step: [first] generating more revenues then be more
efficient. (Executive, TVShop)
The CMO of SimulationSoft described a similar gradual process they started with excel sheets to find out
if they really need a project management tool or resource planning system (see Table 7). Similarly,
TelematicSoft stated with a very basic CRM system since their need was far less complex during growth
compared to modules provided by large software vendors. Besides own investment decisions,
entrepreneurial organizations also decide to rely on external partners for temporarily avoiding the
investment. This is what WebPortal opted for regarding launching a mobile platform.
Table 7. Maintain Liquidity with Digital Technologies
Name of category
Example quote
Invest only in crucial
digital resources
“Then we added the CRM system, and the CRM system is still in place. We
developed it on our own…existing solutions had too many modules we didnt
actually need. So we just invested in what we really needed.” (Founder,
TelematicSoft)
Invest in digital
technologies
following a stepwise
manner
“Sure, a resource planning tool can do much more but at the first step...Yeah,
you can start with an Excel sheet and can say, "He is doing this. He is doing
this." That is the documentation part. That is the developing part and them,
you can have a feeling and then if you see, "Hey, everybody's working with this
well." Then you can go one step ahead.” (CMO, SimulationSoft)
Deciding when to
partner with external
providers
“There would be a fluctuation of people, our application is quite difficult and
complicated, and each new introduction to the source code and entry into the
system would be a great investment. Therefore, we decided to use the external
partners.” (First IT Employee, WebPortal)
Planning seems to be a “habit of big companies” and as the COO of InnoSports needed more insights about
tasks, data and procedures, investing in a digital technology was not an easy battle:
“There is initiative but there's still pushback and I can give an example on that when you talk
about IT. So, we implemented a helpdesk…Because I wanna figure out how much of Rob's time
is being consumed on what activities so then I can plan. Do I need another person? Do I need a
shorter or longer depreciation time for my equipment because it's an equipment issue? And so
when I propose that, my overlord said, "That's a waste of time. That's something big
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 12
companies do." And I said, "Well, I choose to differ because I need this data to plan.” (COO,
InnoSports)
Digital technologies support planning processes with the integration that connects different data points. In
ERPSoft started to proactively deal with planning as a consequence of problems arising due to constant “ad
hoc” troubleshooting. During growth, as the organization needed to handle much more projects and
processes, ad-hocness was an obstacle. Also, PrintingLarge and ConsultAnalytics (see Table 8) described
how tracking resources allowed the organization to gain additional insights and take a more strategic
approach.
Table 8. Establish Planning Activities with Digital Technologies
Name of category
Example quote
Insights from IT
system for developing
a proactive approach
to customers’ needs
“We have more projects. Difficult to handle, difficult to track, and after that
[ERP system implementation] we started to handle those projects in the
manner where we know how many consulting days we are actually spending
and what is the cost side of the projects. We then realized that we are doing
that passively. We are dealing with consequences.… we should start assigning
people and training people to be project managers… At that point of time, the
company started to invest in training…project management skills.” (Executive,
ERPSoft)
Fine granular
estimations
supported by IT
systems
“It would not be possible to operate in this level without a system like that. I
mean also it's important because we don't want to keep a huge amount of
materials at our stock. For example we track it down in an hour and then we
[the state].” (Executive, PrintingLarge)
Providing digital
infrastructure as
basis for innovation
“Every consultant has to maintain from today - 15 months in advance his
utilization. For the current and the next month, on a daily level, and from the
month plus 2 onwards, on a monthly level. This has to be refreshed weekly.”[…
“It's also a very hardcore business intelligence approach. I say if a consultant is
2 days free, I want to have the possibility to recognize this. If a customer asks
for troubleshooting day, I can offer the consultant in these little time frames.”
(Founder, ConsultAnalytics 1)
Discussion
Digital Capabilities for Navigating Tensions of Entrepreneurial Growth
Digital technologies are fundamental to entrepreneurial outcomes and processes. In particular, during
periods of rapid growth, digital technologies are inseparable from processes such as: establishing
knowledge flows, formalizing processes, delegating procedures, reducing redundancies, fostering
reusability, allowing for transparency, generating insights for reliable planning, sensing the environment,
building up reputation, and others. Following Nambisan (2016), we look to highlight how digital
technologies may call to question assumptions of traditional entrepreneurship theories (see overview in
Table 9).
To do so, we focus on the tensions of rapid growth in entrepreneurial organizations. During liminal periods
of growth, different working modes overlap (Henfridsson and Yoo 2014) therefore entrepreneurial
organizations must maintain several working modes simultaneously as they grow. Organizational
structures, approaches to balance between internal focus and environmental influences as well as planning
horizons are changing (see tensions in Table 9.).
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 13
Table 9. Tensions of Structure, Space, and Time, and Digital Technologies during Growth
Dimension
Role of Digital Technologies
Structure:
Persisting existing
organizational design vs.
changes that facilitate
growth
Defining procedures, processes and establishing knowledge flows as well as
related roles in the system (and organization). Delegating transparently,
describing competencies, assigning access rights, decentralizing decision
making with collaborative systems. Specializing existing positions driven by
digital competencies and acquiring digital skills. Establishing digital
channels to retain responsiveness, implementing flexible technologies.
Space:
Internal view of the
entrepreneurial
organization vs. link with
the environment
Relying on single data source, reusing digital content and procedures,
connecting modules of existing systems, fostering reputation building,
seeking legitimacy from important stakeholders. Organizations rely on
digital infrastructures internally or may rely on digital platforms of external
stakeholders. Both may be within or outside of boundaries of the
organization.
Temporality:
Initial resource scarcity
and short-term planning
horizon vs. building up
capabilities
Estimating necessary costs using an IT system to impinge less on the cash
flow, investing in a stepwise manner. Allowing for fine granular estimations
maintained in a system for better planning, creating a unified overview of
data sources. Building up digital capabilities over time.
Even though these categories seem to be mutually exclusive and distinct, when we take a process view of
growth, there are inevitably dualities which involve digital technologies. For example, the CRM system in
ConsultAnalytics 2 was originally implemented to gain more insight about the customer, and to allow for
quality focus and establish links between disparate activities in the organizations through the digitization
of business processes. However, as the organization grew, the classical system became a hindrance rather
than fueled flexibility:
They began to build up a sales division more or less, a couple of people working in sales and
that's I think when those people joined was kind of the first moments they were also
confronted with the fact that that whole CRM would not be scalable the way it was [we had a]
heavy, low standard system.” (Employee, ConsultAnalytics 2)
The tension is present through trade-offs in each decision to invest and structure. Moreover, a gradual
approach, the one that we have seen with organizations such as SimulationSoft and TVShop where both
executives explained that they could not implement a full-blown software just to see how it is going to turn
out. They needed to approach digitalization incrementally. So did the COO wait for having the first bunch
of “healthy” data – collected uniformly, stored in the same system and clean, to further argue for having to
invest in additional software:
“So there's a little bit of a battle there. Metrics to me, which is why the ERP system was so
important, helps me plan short, mid- and long-term. But there's still very much of that. We
need to keep that entrepreneurial spirit fly by the seat of your pants. So, when you talk about
transition, we're probably smack-dab in the middle and I think once I have a year's worth of
data, then I have some facts to back it up to say I can't have an IT director that buys paper and
replaces ink cartridges.” (COO, InnoSports)
In the episode described at FranciseSoft, the founder explained how they balanced tension between
structuring and remaining flexible. The initial situation was “founder centered,” like it is for many startups,
but then, the core process was defined as well as accompanying responsibilities:
From the beginning, I was the process owner of every process in the company. With growth
… I said 'Okay too much work load on me', so we established a first level support team and the
team leader was responsible then for all the first level support activities and [had] contact
with the software development team in any situation where was needed then.” (Founder,
FranchiseSoft)
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Even though everything was documented using wiki pages, the content was changing and processes were
continuously evolving:
“When we implemented the internal Wiki it was all written there… However, it was always
emerging, we kept changing it depending on our needs very simple to use.” (Founder,
FranchiseSoft)
Digital technologies were involved in each management practice, and they were front-and-center in the
transitionary, scaling period assisting organizations in balancing the tensions of growth. Many of the
interviewed organizations even established their management practices by means of digitalization.
However, digital resources are not the same in established organizations and during first phases of growth
in entrepreneurial organizations (Cooper et al. 1994; DeSantola and Gulati 2017; Wright and Stigliani
2013).
Early work on digitalization in entrepreneurial organizations suggested that digital technologies are
implemented to handle raising complexity in structures (Kagan et al. 1990), particular accounting or
production related tasks (Mitchell et al. 1997; Pierre-André and Raymond 1994) or create internal
transparency (Street and Meister 2004). However, when exploring the role of digital technologies during
process of growth, there does not seem to be a single digital technology that fulfills a fixed role. Instead,
there is strong focus on buffering existing structures from emerging ones in terms of professionalizing the
organization’s design, focus on the environment and planning activities.
Organizing is a process that involves navigating through various types of tensions (Lewis and Smith 2014;
Smith and Lewis 2011). Tensions associated with competing imperatives are typical for all organizations
(Poole and Van de Ven 1989), but particularly relevant for fast-growing entrepreneurial organizations.
Specifically, organizations encounter contradictory requests as they mature from entrepreneurial to more
established stages they move from “loosely coupled versus tightly coupled, centralized versus
decentralized, and flexible versus controlling” (Smith and Lewis 2011, p. 292). The assumption of this
perspective suggests that proper navigation of contradictions is a powerful key to successful growth (Smith
and Lewis 2011, p. 295). Growth is seldom episodic and linear, and as organizations grow they seek to
simultaneously manage these contradictions (Greiner 1972). Taking the three types of tensions as a
structuring device, we suggest that the following design capital and technical competencies are especially
relevant for managing tensions of growth in entrepreneurial organizations:
1. Structural tensions: One of the key themes during our interviews was formalization and flexibility
(see Table 10). As organizations establish routines, they digitize processes and data. For example,
defining roles through an enterprise wide system results in integration. However, entrepreneurial
organizations seek to modularize their process which allows for flexibility. Similarly, developing a single
repository allows for reducing redundancies and formalization. This may lead to a certain degree of
rigidity; however, single source of data can also just be a reliable starting point and flexibility can be
maintained outside of the system. Similar examples were abundant in our data, such as the companies
that implemented knowledge management systems as wiki pages that allowed them for easily changing
the data at any point in time. Organizations recognized the benefit from reusing digital content and
data (Sojer and Henkel 2010).
2. Spatial tensions: As the organization aims at reaching an organization wide optimum - integration
is critical. In our data, we saw the role of digital technologies for streamlining processes within
boundaries of the organization. For example, this theme is related to integration: creating links between
departments but also linking core and peripheral processes (Berente et al. 2013). The initial internal
focus is often shifting towards inclusion of those professional structures that are demanded by various
stakeholders in the environment. Moreover, analytics capability also link internal operations and the
environment through additional insights about customer, employee, and other information. Analyzing
data from internal systems dealing with outward-facing activities can lend insight to the direction those
the organizations need to take and its alignment with that direction. For example, SellGift described
how their eCommerce system opened up possibilities for profiling their customers.
3. Temporal tensions: Maintaining liquidity is a persistent tension posing a question “invest or not to
invest?” This dilemma was illustrated by examples of TVShop, SimulationSoft, InnoSports and many
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 15
others. Also, entrepreneurial organizations don’t have abundant resources. However, decisions to
invest are not binary. Organizations may invest in some layers of digital technologies (Yoo et al. 2010)
and allow for gradually building up parts of the digital infrastructure (see stepwise approach in Table
10). Temporal separation occurs between increasingly standardized activities using digital technologies
(examples: service oriented architecture, application programming interfaces and others) from each
other and from everyday organizational activities. These organizations draw on modular enactment of
technologies to create buffers between diverging imperatives. Another form of temporal buffering
involves data analytics capabilities. Digital technologies are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and thus
data analytics (Iansiti and Lakhani 2014) is also not only meant for big upfront investments and large
organizations as smaller organizations digitize elements of their practices, they can draw upon the
digital traces to gain insight into elements of their operations. Insights gained from the existing and
novel data sources create a link between the current ad hoc needs for insight and long-term planning
requirements.
Table 10. Digital Capabilities for reconciling Tensions during Entrepreneurial Growth
Digital Capabilities
Tension
Explanation
Example Case
Modular digitized
processes
Structural:
Procedures vs.
flexibility
Digital technologies enable
formalization of rules and
standardization, but
organization can still act
outside of the system
WebPortal, ERPSoft,
SimulationSoft,
SellGift, InnoSports,
FranchiseSoft
Single repository
digital content and
application services
Structural:
Procedures vs.
flexibility
Digital technologies represent
formal record of activity, as ad
hoc activities are reconciled
outside of the system.
FranchiseSoft,
LabPlant
Partial integration
Spatial: Internal
structure vs.
environmental
influence
Digital technologies, once
integrated, remain integrated.
Sensitivity to environment
achieved outside of integrated
internal processes
TVShop,
ConsultAnalytics 2,
Specialty Fiber
Data analytics
digital content and
application services
Spatial: Internal
structure vs.
environmental
influence
Sensing and responding to
environment through analysis
of operations
ConsultAnalytics 1,
PrintingLarge,
ERPSoft
Stepwise
implementation
different layers of
digital technologies
Temporal: Short
term liquidity vs.
long term
investment
Modular, partial, stepwise
implementation of digital
technologies
TVShop,
SimulationSoft,
InnoSports
Data analytics
digital content and
application services
Temporal: Short
term liquidity vs.
long term
investment
Short term activity resulting in
data that can be mined over
time for planning
SellGift, InnoSports
Our findings suggest numerous situations where organizations balance growth pains and rely on layers of
digital technologies. We explicitly take this view of digital technologies and in Table 10 emphasize on the
distinction of layers, which are complicit in the professionalization process. All mentioned digitally enabled
practices formalizing organizational design, developing a systematic approach to shift attention between
internal and external environment and establishing planning activities contribute to professionalization.
Not only are organizational practices enabled by digitalization, but professionalization processes are
triggered by digitalization. We have provided numerous examples when digitalization efforts start the
process of structuring the organization, defining roles and processes.
Digital capabilities for reconciling tensions during entrepreneurial growth are related to design capital and
specific technical competencies. These organizations do not have a well-developed digital architecture,
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 16
rather, their capability is to keep the process of “architecting” their digital resources in a gradual way
considering immediate impact as well as potential compatibility with future steps. Therefore, the partial
integration and stepwise implementation are technical competencies that need to shape the approach taken
to digital technology investments in these organizations.
It is not a failure for these organizations to retain flexibility, respond to the environment or plan short-term.
In fact, this is the very nature of young entrepreneurial organizations thus, lack of “complete” integration
between front end and back end, partial investments or agile approaches to working with existing data are
not “low quality” digital options. Certainly, these organizations also need to deploy technical skills in
executing certain moves related to design capital (Woodard et al. 2013).
The “Digital” Side of Entrepreneurial Processes and “Entrepreneurial” Side of
Digital Capabilities
Digital ventures are often associated with “digital entrepreneurship.” Typically portrayed as young
entrepreneurial organizations with extensive digital resources and capacities to scale (Huang et al. 2017),
and repurpose their initial ideas for different industry sectors (Antonopoulou et al. 2016). In addition to
these extreme cases, most entrepreneurial organizations rely on design capital and develop some digital
capabilities. Especially relevant during rapid growth (Tumbas et al. 2015), there is no clearly defined set of
“must have” digital capabilities. Unlike the logic of design capital building processes in large established
organizations, design capital and technical competencies of entrepreneurial organizations are rooted in
different principles.
Information systems research provides a vocabulary for contrasting our findings to the existing literature.
The specific research stream that engages with questions of digital options (Overby et al. 2006; Sandberg
et al. 2014) is concerned with digital business strategies. Agility or “entrepreneurial orientation”
(Sambamurthy et al. 2003) is crucial for large established organizations. However, their approaches and
principles to build up design capital and competencies are often described through debt and lost
opportunities. Digital options that are of “low quality” for large established organizations may afford
transitioning from growth to more mature organization in another context.
Digital capabilities afford buffering tensions of entrepreneurial growth and stands at a sharp contrast to our
existing ideas about large established firms (Sambamurthy et al. 2003). Entrepreneurial organizations
during rapid growth are not able to invest long term and wait for the strategic impact in the
future(Chakravarty et al. 2013). Their working mode is experimental (Kerr et al. 2014) and based on
constant shifts and pivoting (McDonald and Gao 2016). The generative capacity of digital technologies
affords these organizations to become more and more mature in their structures while sustaining their
needs for adaptation.
Conclusion and Outlook
This research contributes to the emerging field of digital entrepreneurship (Davidson and Vaast 2010; Fang
et al. 2017; Nambisan 2016). Tensions associated with competing imperatives during rapid growth are
particularly relevant for young entrepreneurial organizations. We explore such tensions and take a “digital
technology perspective of entrepreneurship” (Nambisan 2016). So doing, we extend this perspective with
an in-depth investigation of 20 fast growing entrepreneurial organizations. All interviewed organizations
use digital technologies internally their operations, business process and management practices in that
transitionary period where they scale to larger organizations. Digital technologies provide the buffer
through which they can professionalize their organizations and simultaneously the flexibility to rapidly shift
direction and repurpose the organization’s trajectory (Burtch et al. 2013; Huang et al. 2017; Nambisan
2016).
We show that entrepreneurial organizations develop digital capabilities that call for a modular layered view
of digital technologies (Yoo et al. 2010) and approaching organizational growth with stepwise investments,
partial integrations, modular view of digitized processes. Contrasting our results with established views of
digital options and resources the strategic IS literature, we attempt to show that entrepreneurial
phenomenon (Del Giudice and Straub 2011; Woodard et al. 2013) is relevant for both large established and
young growing organizations.
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Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems, South Korea 2017 17
Acknowledgements
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and time of all founders and executives who participated
in the study, as well as the editorial and review team for detailed and insightful feedback. This research was
funded by the Research Fund of the University of Liechtenstein (Forschungsförderungsfonds der
Universität Liechtenstein) in frames of the project wi-1-14 “Institutional Logics of Digital Innovation.”
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