Track Chairs

Nils Urbach, Professor, University of Bayreuth, Germany. Email:

Martin Wiener, Associate Professor, Bentley University, USA. Email:

Monideepa Tarafdar, Professor, Lancaster University, UK. Email:


Track Description

Rethinking IS Strategy and Governance in the Digital Age

In the digital age, innovative technologies significantly influence work processes, products, services, and business models, e.g., by connecting individuals, organizations, machines, and other ‘things’ in new ways, as well as by enabling novel working, collaboration, and automation models (Fitzgerald et al., 2013). For companies, this development often poses a significant challenge. To succeed in this changing competitive environment, companies must unfold the potential of digital technologies in their business strategies, transform their work routines, processes and structures, rethink their business models, as well as manage and govern IT infrastructures that are the central to their value propositions (Legner et al., 2017).

In short, pervasive digitalization has increased the importance of information technology (IT) and transformed the demands placed on organizations’ IT functions. Besides ensuring regular IT operations, IT functions are increasingly required to proactively identify technological innovations and to rapidly transfer them into marketable solutions – and with that to directly contribute to the company’s central value propositions (Urbach et al., 2017).

In this context, IS strategizing and governance represent key activities for the effective deployment of IT resources and ultimately for value creation through IT. The emergence of new digital technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence [AI], big-data analytics, blockchain, cloud computing) and infrastructures (e.g., digital platforms and ecosystems), novel value creation processes and work practices (e.g., human-robot collaboration, resource sharing) along with the availability of unprecedented data volumes challenge existing conceptualizations and theories related to IS strategy and governance (Markus, 2017; Newell & Marabelli, 2015). For instance, while cloud services may make the IT artefact seemingly disappear, the challenge of governing the design and use of such services and associated IT resources has become even more acute (Schneider & Sunyaev, 2016). Digital business models that revolve around resource sharing and/or complex product-service offerings not only challenge organizational boundaries, but also established ideas about ownership of resources, tasks, and outputs (Schor, 2014). Similarly, while AI-based algorithms can automate business processes, they highlight even more urgently, the need for data fidelity and process management (Tarafdar et al., 2017). At the same time, in organizations where more ‘traditional’ technologies and work practices are still dominant, IS strategy and governance challenges remain highly important and complex (Wiener et al., 2016).

The objectives of the proposed track are two-fold. One, from the point of view of scholarly research, the objective is to foster and promote novel theories and concepts on IS strategy and governance, with a particular focus on the manifold opportunities and challenges associated with the pervasive digitalization of business and society. Two, the track aims at offering insights that enable IS practitioners to leverage emerging digital technologies, respond to digitalization challenges, and ultimately, to make effective use of available IT resources. The track is open to all types of contributions—including research in progress—studying IS strategy and governance topics from different stakeholder perspectives, in different contexts and settings (e.g., for-profits and non-profits), at different levels of analysis (e.g., individual, project, program, corporate, network, and societal level), and with different theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches (e.g., conceptual and empirical studies).

We particularly welcome studies that address the conference theme “Information Systems for a Sharing Society” by focusing on IS strategy and governance issues related to the sharing of IT and other resources.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital strategizing and strategy implementation (e.g., link to overall business strategy, development of digital capabilities, sustainability of digital strategies, translation of strategic objectives into governance practices and structures)

  • Strategic impact of emerging digital technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, blockchain, big-data analytics, cloud computing) on business models, governance structures, and processes, etc.

  • Governance of digital transformation and innovation processes (e.g., new governance models for complex organizations, such as companies operating with dual/coexisting traditional and digital business models)

  • Changing role of CIO function & New role of CDO function (e.g., ‘digital race’ between CIO and CDO, structure and nature of business-IT relationships)

  • Data-driven leadership and control approaches (e.g., algorithmic performance management, IT-mediated control of work processes)

  • Governance of digital value-creation processes and networks (e.g., Industry 4.0 and cyber-physical systems, IT-enabled product-service systems, digital platforms and ecosystems, resource sharing, etc.)

  • Governance of novel work practices (e.g., agile software development, human-robot interaction and collaboration) and sourcing models (e.g., crowdsourcing, multisourcing, open-sourcing, and back-sourcing)

  • Information security governance (e.g., cybersecurity frameworks, standards, and policies for critical infrastructures)

  • Dark side of digital strategies/governance, including ethical issues as well as undesired ecological, economic, and socio-emotional side-effects (e.g., technostress)

  • Critical reflections on IS strategy and governance in the digital age (e.g., truly ‘new’ features and challenges of digitalization, links to traditional research streams)

  • Novel theoretical perspectives and research approaches that broaden, or challenge, our understanding of IS strategy and governance in the digital age



Fitzgerald, M., Kruschwitz, N., Bonnet, D., and Welch, M. (2013) “Embracing Digital Technology,” MIT Sloan Management Review.

Legner, C., Eymann, T., Hess, T., Matt, C., Böhmann, T., Drews, P., Maedche, A., Urbach, N., and Ahlemann F. (2017) “Digitalization: Opportunity and Challenge for the Business and Information Systems Engineering Community,” Business & Information Systems Engineering, 59(4), 301-308.

Markus, M. L. (2017) “Datification, Organizational Strategy, and IS Research: What’s the Score?” Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 26(3), 233-241.

Newell, S., and Marabelli, M. (2015) "Strategic Opportunities (and Challenges) of Algorithmic Decision-Making: A Call for Action on the Long-Term Societal Effects of ‘Datification’,” Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(1), 3-14.

Schneider, S., and Sunyaev, A. (2016) “Determinant Factors of Cloud-Sourcing Decisions: Reflecting on the IT Outsourcing Literature in the Era of Cloud Computing,” Journal of Information Technology, 31(1), 1-31.

Schor, J. (2014) “Debating the Sharing Economy,” Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics, 4(3), 1-13.

Tarafdar, M., Beath, C., and Ross, J. (2017) “Enterprise Cognitive Computing Applications: Opportunities and Challenges,” IT Professional, 19(4), 2-8.

Urbach, N., Drews, P., and Ross, J. (2017) “Digital Business Transformation and the Changing Role of the IT Function,” MIS Quarterly Executive, 16(2), ii-iv.

Wiener, M., Mähring, M., Remus, U., and Saunders, C. (2016) “Control Configuration and Control Enactment in Information Systems Projects: Review and Expanded Theoretical Framework,” MIS Quarterly, 40(3), 741-774.


Publishing Opportunities in Leading Journals

Authors of excellent papers will be invited to submit a revised/extended version of their paper to the Information Systems Journal (ISJ). For further information on the ISJ, please go to: Track chairs would be happy to work with the authors to guide them for ISJ submission.


Track Associate Editors

1. Frederik Ahlemann, Professor, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

2. Daniel Beimborn, Professor, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany

3. Shalini Shandra, Assistant Professor, SP Jain School of Global Management, Singapore

4. Crispin Coombs, Reader, Loughborough University, UK

5. Alec W. Cram, Assistant Professor, Bentley University, USA

6. Andreas Drechsler, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

7. Thomas Kude, Assistant Professor, ESSEC Business School, France

8. Christine Legner, Professor,University of Lausanne, Switzerland

9. Magnus Mähring, Professor, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

10. Marco Marabelli, Assistant Professor, Bentley University, USA

11. Ulrich Remus, Professor, University of Innsbruck, Austria

12. Carol Saunders, Professor, University of South Florida, USA

13. Till Winkler, Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

14. Ruilin Zhu, Lecturer, Lancaster University, UK

15. Suranjan Chakraborty, Associate Professor, Towson University, USA

16. Gilbert Fridgen, Professor, University of Bayreuth, Germany

17. Thomas Huber, Assistant Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland

18. Michael Schermann, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University, USA