Digitization and Path Disruption : An Examination in the Funeral Industry

Creators: Wenzel, Matthias and Wagner, David and Wagner, Heinz-Theo and Koch, Jochen
Title: Digitization and Path Disruption : An Examination in the Funeral Industry
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Event Title: (Proceedings of the) 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)
Event Location: Münster, Germany
Event Dates: May, 26-29, 2015
Projects: CROSS
Additional Information: Completed Research Papers ; 199
Date: 2015
Divisions: Informationsmanagement
Abstract: While the digitization of the business landscape provides firms with numerous business opportunities, it has severely disrupted established business practices of many traditional "offline businesses." To shed light on the disruptive nature of digitization and the challenges that it entails for traditional offline businesses, we draw on path dependence theory to examine how digitization disrupts strategic paths. We explore this issue by analyzing the strategic path of funeral homes, a paradigmatic case of a traditional offline business that has been struck heavily by digitization. We show that digitization is capable of destabilizing the key mechanisms that drive the successful reproduction of strategic paths and, consequently, induce their eventual demise, whereas other (non-digital) disruptive events may challenge the strategic pattern of paths but do not necessarily lead to path disruption. By discerning and emphasizing this disruptive peculiarity of digitization, we contribute to better understanding the disruptive nature of digitization and the challenges that it entails for traditional offline businesses. Furthermore, we extend the extant literature on path dependence by providing a more nuanced understanding of path disruption, and we offer guidance to practitioners on how to cope with the challenges of path disruption through digitization.
Citation:

Wenzel, Matthias and Wagner, David and Wagner, Heinz-Theo and Koch, Jochen (2015) Digitization and Path Disruption : An Examination in the Funeral Industry. In: (Proceedings of the) 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), May, 26-29, 2015, Münster, Germany. ISBN 978-3-00-050284-2

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item