Summer Term 24

Managing Digital Transformation


Managing Digital Transformation (Managing DT)

  • Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Kautz
  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Plattfaut
Summer Semester 2024
27th/28th of June; 1st/4th/5th of July

Important Notes:

This course will take place in a blocked format.

If you want to participate in the blocked course, please write a short email.


Society and business are currently undergoing essential, some say dramatic change under the key words of and Digital Transformation and Digitalization. Information and digital technologies and innovations are increasing their significant impact on the business models of many organizations. The resulting changes, often labelled as digital transformation, have, what is more and more called, disruptive consequences for whole business sectors, but also for society and its citizens and individual lives. Beyond the at times exaggerated use of the term digital in all possible contexts, other catchwords as such Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Social Media, Big Data Analytics, Mobile Computing, Cloud Computing, Intelligent Machines, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning pervade public, political, and business-related discussions and to some extent the academic discourse. However, many issues are still open concerning the implications of the phenomena under investigation for both society and business and many of the terms used as jargon are still unclear and applied in less reflected ways. The overarching questions of the course are how is and can digital transformation (and digitalization) be managed? Including, what makes digital transformation and digitalization different from previous IT enabled change management initiatives? What drives digital transformation and digitalization? How are they performed in practice? And what are the impacts, effects, and consequences of digital transformation and digitalization?

On this background the objective of the course therefore is to offer clarifications with regard to the concepts of digital transformation, digitalization, and digital disruption as well as providing conceptual tools to tackle the topics and challenges of digital transformation management and strategies, digital business, and the role of the IT function and the digital workforce in the ‘digital age’. To this end the participants will be introduced to some frameworks and models which have been derived and applied in practice.

Learning Targets:

By the time the participating students have completed the course, they will be able to:

  • Critically assess the concepts relating to digital transformation, digitalization, and digital disruption
    • Describe the building blocks of a digital transformation
    • Distinguish between transformation and change
    • Distinguish digital Transformation and IT-enabled organizational transformation
  • Transfer their knowledge to other transformations, e.g., decarbonization or societal aging
  • Identify opportunities and challenges of digital transformation and digitalization
  • Be familiar with a variety of digital transformation strategies and digital business models
  • Apply tools to digitally transform business models, products, services, and business processes
  • Critically assess digital transformation management and the application of strategies and digital business models in practice
  • Identify the challenges of digital transformation strategies and digital business models
  • Identify the opportunities and challenges of the future IT function and digital workforce

Methods of Assessment:

Case/Paper Presentation (20%), Discussion (20%), Final Course Paper (60%) - more details will be announced in the first class


The course will be taught in a highly interactive format where the class sessions after an introductory class consist of conceptual paper and/or case discussions. Each session has between one and three required and some additional recommended reading(s). Before the course starts the two required readings will be assigned to one participant who will provide a 7 - 10 minutes class presentation and summary of the assigned paper and case as a kickoff for the discussion of up to 20 minutes. The participant is also supposed to provide a written summary of their presentation of a maximum length of 2500 words (which roughly equals approximately 3½ A4 pages in Georgia 10 font and a normal page margin layout). As preparation every participant is expected to have read all required readings.

Each presentation, summary and class discussion is guided by one or more leading questions which can also be found in the timetable. Each participant produces a final course paper of a maximum length of 10500 words (which roughly equals approximately 14 ½ A4 pages in Georgia 10 font and a normal page margin layout). The final paper critically discusses selected concepts presented in the course against the accompanying framework(s) and in addition to the earlier assignment case to at least two of the other cases presented and discussed in the course.