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An emergent grounded theory of AI-driven digital transformation: Canadian SMEs' perspectives

Amir Taherizadeh and Catherine Beaudry

Article (2023)

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Artificial intelligence (AI) empowers traditional firms to transform into Industry 4.0, enabling them to compete in an era of rapid technological advancements. However, AI adoption remains limited among Canadian firms. This research aims to identify the key dimensions of AI-driven digital transformation (AIDT) and develop a grounded theory that provides a rich and nuanced understanding of how the AIDT process unfolds within Canadian SMEs. The study reveals that the AIDT process is shaped by the interplay of five core dimensions: evaluating transformation context, auditing organisational readiness, piloting the AI integration, scaling the implementation, and leading the transformation. The first four dimensions follow a sequential, stage-like progression, while the fifth dimension is recurring and omnipresent, exerting a continuous impact on the other phases. AIDT is characterised as a path-dependent, slow evolutionary change spectrum that demands firms adapt by developing their sensing, seizing and reconfiguration capacities to evolve and sustain their evolutionary fitness. The study explores several theoretical and managerial implications that arise from the findings.

Uncontrolled Keywords

artificial intelligence; digital transformation; dynamic capability; grounded theory; industry 4.0; technological innovation

Additional Information: Special issue on innovation Dynamics in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.
Subjects: 1600 Industrial engineering > 1600 Industrial engineering
1600 Industrial engineering > 1601 Operations research and management science
2700 Information technology > 2700 Information technology
2800 Artificial intelligence > 2800 Artificial intelligence (Computer vision, see 2603)
Department: Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering
Research Center: CIRANO - Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations
Funders: Center for Interuniversity Research on the Analysis of Organisations (CIRANO)
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/56738/
Journal Title: Industry and Innovation (vol. 30, no. 9)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2023.2242285
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13662716.2023.2242285
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 16:57
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 13:38
Cite in APA 7: Taherizadeh, A., & Beaudry, C. (2023). An emergent grounded theory of AI-driven digital transformation: Canadian SMEs' perspectives. Industry and Innovation, 30(9), 1244-1273. https://doi.org/10.1080/13662716.2023.2242285


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