Seismic shifts in industries brought about by radical technological innovations usually lead to a misalignment between the capabilities of many incumbent firms and the requisites of their new environment, and eventually, organizational decline. The current turnaround literature, while emphasizing operating and strategic responses to organizational decline that focus on efficiency and fine tuning product/market strategy respectively, ignores such organizational decline that requires fundamental reengineering of the whole firm and its value chain. This paper introduces the concept of digital reorientation as a long term turnaround strategy to respond to situations in which a firm’s environment has been fundamentally restructured. Digital reorientation is a technology-enabled, simultaneous and multilevel change that transforms the organization’s core architecture and the way it serves its customers. We develop a framework to understand this turnaround strategy relative to traditional operational and strategic options and formulate propositions on internal and external contingencies that will likely influence the effectiveness of its implementation. Finally, using the newspaper publishing industry as an example of an environment that has undergone such disruptive change driven by digital technological innovations, we examine how the use of digital reorientation could help declining firms in that industry successfully turnaround their performance.
Abebe, Michael A., et al. “Hitting the ‘Reset Button’: The Role of Digital Reorientation in Successful Turnarounds.” Long Range Planning, Apr. 2021, p. 102102. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2021.102102.
Long Range Planning