Leveraging synergy to drive digital transformation: A systems-theoretic perspective

Dinh Khoi Nguyen, Thijs Broekhuizen, John Qi Dong*, Peter C. Verhoef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Given the strategic importance of digital transformation, IS research pays meticulous attention to identifying its key drivers, including awareness, motivation, and capability. Nevertheless, the interaction and synergy among these drivers remain conceptually and empirically understudied. Our study tries to address this research gap. We first consider digital proactiveness as awareness, change commitment as motivation, and organizational flexibility as the capability driver of digital transformation. Drawing on systems theory, this study proposes the synergy of these three key drivers in steering digital transformation. Recent data from 206 Dutch firms support the existence of synergy, showing that digital proactiveness, change commitment, and organizational flexibility contribute jointly to digital transformation. Our analysis reveals that the effect of organizational flexibility on digital transformation is highest when digital proactiveness and change commitment are both at a high level. This study extends our understanding of the complementary and synergistic digital transformation drivers and broadens research in this tradition by considering the synergy of awareness, motivational, and capability drivers in driving digital transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103836
Number of pages14
JournalInformation and Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Change commitment
  • Digital proactiveness
  • Digital transformation
  • Organizational flexibility
  • Systems theory


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