PhD Course

Frontiers in Digital Innovation Research

Phenomena, Theories, and Approaches 



Swedish Center for Digital Innovation offers a 10 credit PhD course on the Frontiers in Digital Innovation Research. To deliver varied, relevant, and contemporary content, we engage approximately 20 researchers that are active at our three founding member institutions in Gothenburg, Umeå, and Stockholm


The course consists of 17 modules. Each module delivers a specific perspective on digital innovation research and is anchored in a distinct stream of research. The course consists of three meetings, each covering three days, and is distributed across the three institutions. Full syllabus will be available shortly.


The course was given, for the first time, spring 2020. It is designed as three independent meetings, in Gothenburg, Umeå, and Stockholm. We hope to run the course again during the academic year 2021/2022. More information will be posten during spring 2021.


The course is designed for PhD students engaged in digital innovation research or closely related fields. The course is free of charge, but participants are expected to cover costs for travel and accommodation. We invite applications from across Scandinavia. Application for 2020 is now closed.


Digital technologies demonstrate unique properties, such as malleability and flexibility. Such properties make them generative, in the sense that they continuously produce new opportunities for the creation of products, services, infrastructures, business models, and organizational forms (Bharadwaj et al. 2013; Lyytinen et al. 2016; Nambisan et al. 2017; Yoo et al. 2010). Digital technologies are also increasingly affordable and accessible, radically lowering entry barriers. As new stakeholders are engaged, value creation processes spread far beyond corporate lab environments, further embedding digital technologies into society. Ultimately, digital technologies alter the environments of organizations, give rise to tensions, and call for profound change in how they organize for innovation (Gregory et al. 2015; Sandberg et al. 2019; Svahn et al. 2017).

In response, the information systems (IS) community has established a strong foundation for research on topics such as digital innovation (Fichman et al. 2014; Yoo et al. 2012; Yoo et al. 2010), digital infrastructure (Constantinides et al. 2018; Henfridsson and Bygstad 2013; Tilson et al. 2010), digital transformation (Majchrzak et al. 2016; Nambisan et al. 2019), and digital ecosystems (El Sawy et al. 2010; Jacobides et al. 2018; Suseno et al. 2018; Tiwana 2015). This research is further accelerated by regional and global initiatives, such as Swedish Centre for Digital Innovation and the recently announced AIS special interest group on Digital Innovation, Transformation, and Entrepreneurship (SIG DITE).


This PhD course offers an overview of contemporary research in the area of digital innovation. In particular, it showcases a range of theories and approaches that researchers can employ to study the many complex phenomena associated with digital innovation. A range of focus areas are discussed in relation to selected readings and illustrated by SCDI research projects. The following modules are included in the course:





Fredrik Svahn, University of Gothenburg

Johan Sandberg, Umeå University

Anna Essén, Stockholm School of Economics