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Digital Strategy

With ISEM, UCA Higher Education Institute of Economy and Management


Lise Arena (UCA, CNRS, GREDEG), Amel Attour (UCA, CNRS, GREDEG), Nathalie Oriol - UCA, CNRS, GREDEG)



The “digital strategy” course offers a comprehensive framework and up-to-date research results to understand

- how digital devices seek to transform organizations (teams, firms, industries and markets);
- how organizations and economic actors could contribute to the development and the improvement of these new digital devices.


 Overall, the course focuses on the current era of digital transformation through three dimensions of digital strategy:

Dimension 1: the digitalization of business processes inside and between organizations – Management Information Systems (MIS)

The study of MIS as the understanding of people, information technology and organizations has been increasingly central to provide a better understanding of how to use technologies to store, process and interpret information to improve firm’s growth and business processes. This reflects the fact that information does not worth much if it does not serve a purpose and if well managed could then become a strategic tool to create or develop a competitive advantage. At the heart of MIS, lie new challenges due to the introduction of new digital devices – e.g. cloud computing – that transform current IS, such as SCM (Supply Chain Management), HRM (Human Resource Management), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

This MIS module will then expose:

- Recent evolutions of e-commerce and new CRM strategies through the use of Search Engine Optimisation;
- New challenges in Business Intelligence transformed by the use of Big data and algorithms to assist managerial decisions. In particular, students will work on the way traditional theories of decision-making (cf. Herbert Simon) could be enriched by new empirical considerations (cf. theories of distributed cognition);
- The importance of considering users’ technological acceptance to avoid designing information technologies that face resistance to change in later phases of innovation.  

Selected references

- Gallivan M.J. (2001). “Organizational Adoption and Assimilation of Complex Technological Innovations: Development and Application of a New Framework”, The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems, 32(3), pp. 51-85.

- Laudon K.C. & Laudon J.P. (2015). Essentials of MIS. Pearson, 12th Edition.

- Westerman G., Bonnet D. & McAffee A. (2014). Leading Digital – Turning Technology into Business Transformation. Harvard Business Review Press.


Dimension 2: the design of digital ecosystems’ business models – Digital Innovation Management (DIM)

The diffusion of smart technologies changes business models and questions traditional frontiers of industries as well as usual ecosystems. This DIM module has a particular interest on the ways public and private actors co-innovate in these new organizational forms and how they evolve in the so called open innovation context. It first suggests a general distinction between business, innovative and knowledge ecosystems. Then, to offer a better understanding of how digital technologies contribute to innovate in ecosystem and business models of smart innovations, this DIM module discusses and clarify the concept of business model innovation, business ecosystem models by considering the case of smart services that are information and technologies based. The aim is to emphasise key strategic issues in the process design of digital platforms and how these issues impacts smart innovations’ ecosystems and business models. It will be shown that:

- as they play a key role in the design process of business ecosystem models, digital platforms are core elements of such new business models,
- knowledge management have a key role in these business and ecosystem models’ innovation processes,
- digital business ecosystems result from knowledge replications enabled by IT.   

Selected references

- Adner, R. (2017). “Ecosystems as structure: an actionable construct for strategy”, Journal of Management, 43 (1), 39-58.

- Andersson, M., Lindgren, R., & Henfridsson, O. (2008). Architectural knowledge in organizational IT innovation. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 17(1), 19-38.

- Burgelman, R. A., Maidique, M., & Wheelright, S. (2004). Strategic management of technology and innovation. New York: McGraw-Hill.

- Gawer, A. (2014). “Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework”. Research Policy, 43, pp. 1239-1249.

- Moore, J. (2006). Business ecosystems and the view from the firm. The Antitrust Bulletin, 51(1), 31- 75.


Dimension 3: the digitalization of finance and new ways of financing firms – Digital Finance (DF)

New digital strategies also impact financial markets. This digitalization leads to new practices of trading (such as high-frequency trading) as well as new forms of market instability (such as flash crashes). New digital devices also enable firms to get new forms of funding through the new practices of crowdfunding and crowdlending.

This “DF” module introduces digital finance, at the market level as well as the firm level.

Selected references 

- Banks E. (2001). E-Finance: The Electronic Revolution in Financial Services. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, USA.

- Li S. (2003). "Future trends and challenges of financial risk management in the digital economy", Managerial Finance, 29(5/6), pp.111-125.

- Kirilenko A. Kyle A.S., Samadi M. & Tuzun T. (2017), The Flash Crash: High‐Frequency Trading in an Electronic Market. The Journal of Finance, 72, pp. 967-998.

- Belleflamme P., Omrani N. et M. Peitz (2015). « The economics of crowdfunding platforms », Information Economics and Policy, vol. 33, 11-28.

- Lin M., Prabhala N. et Viswanathan S. (2013). « Judging Borrowers By the Company They Keep: Friendship Networks and Information Asymmetry in Online Peer to Peer Lending », Management Science, vol. 59, 17-35.