The Data Imperative: How Digitalization is Reshaping Management, Organizing, and Work

ISBN : 9780198840817

Henri Schildt
240 Pages
135 x 216 mm
Pub date
Sep 2020
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Companies across all industries are engaging in digital transformation to harness the power of advanced information technologies. Building on interviews and diverse case studies, this book provides an in-depth look at how data and algorithms are reshaping management practices, organizational structures, corporate culture, and work roles. Henri Schildt develops a broad framework for understanding digitalization not as a technological change but as a new normative mind-set, here called 'the data imperative'. It describes the new managerial ideals that compel companies to pursue digital omniscience and omnipotence-abilities to represent and understand the world through real-time data flow and to control customer experiences, physical equipment, and workers with software. The efforts to complement and replace human expertise with data and smart algorithms are associated with shifts in strategic priorities, adoption of powerful modular architectures, new organizational structures, and the introduction of artificial intelligence into diverse work roles. Surveying the developments in management and the workplace, this book offers an integrative and balanced account of the on-going changes that will continue to affect everyone from executives and professionals to front-line workers.


1 Digital Transformation
2 The Data Imperative
3 Strategic Priorities in the Digital Era
4 Complexity and Modularity
5 Organizing Data-Driven Companies
6 Artificial Intelligence and Human Expertise
7 Algorithmic Management of Humans
8 The Promises and Pitfalls of the Data Imperative

About the author: 

Henri Schildt is Professor of Strategy at Aalto University with a joint appointment at the School of Business and School of Science. He is currently heading the Department of Management Studies. He has conducted research in various domains of management and strategy for more than 15 years and is an active teacher in various MBA and executive education courses at Aalto University. His areas of interest in teaching and research include digitalization, strategy processes, social entrepreneurship, and organizational change. His research has been published in the leading academic journals including Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal.

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