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Generating Momentum in Digital Business Transformations

This audio edition of the June 2023 research briefing describes three actions that counter resistance to change emanating from organizational inertia in digital business transformations.
By Ina M. Sebastian, Thomas Haskamp, and Nils O. Fonstad

MIT CISR research suggests that digital business transformations may be beginning to stall. In 2020, companies reported their transformations were 50 percent complete; but in 2022, transformations had progressed only to 55 percent complete. One key challenge for digital leaders struggling to generate momentum—consistent, ongoing progress—in a transformation is motivating other business leaders to commit to new goals and practices. In this research briefing, we discuss three sources of organizational inertia in digital business transformations, introduce three actions to generate momentum, and illustrate the actions using a case study from WABCO and ZF.

The June 2023 research briefing is read by author Ina Sebastian.


Follow the research briefing podcast series on SoundCloud.

© 2023 MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research, Sebastian, Haskamp, and Fonstad. MIT CISR Research Briefings are published monthly to update the center’s patrons and sponsors on current research projects.

About the Authors

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Thomas Haskamp, Research Associate, Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam and Research Collaborator, MIT CISR

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Nils O. Fonstad, Research Scientist, MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)


Founded in 1974 and grounded in MIT's tradition of combining academic knowledge and practical purpose, MIT CISR helps executives meet the challenge of leading increasingly digital and data-driven organizations. We work directly with digital leaders, executives, and boards to develop our insights. Our consortium forms a global community that comprises more than seventy-five organizations.

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