PhD Course

Frontiers in Digital Innovation Research

Phenomena, Theories, and Approaches 



Swedish Center for Digital Innovation offers a 7,5 credit PhD course on the Frontiers in Digital Innovation Research. To deliver varied, relevant, and contemporary content, we engage approximately 20 researchers active at our three institutions in Gothenburg, Umeå, and Stockholm


The course is given spring 2022 (Mid-march – mid June) and includes a 5-day retreat in Riksgränsen, an internationally renowned ski-resort in the very northern parts of Sweden, combined with online sessions. This year, we are able to offer tuition, room and board free of charge through a recent major donation from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.


The course is designed for PhD students engaged in digital innovation research or closely related fields, but should also be of interest to broader audiences.


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 opportunities, and call for profound change in how they organize for innovation (Gregory et al. 2015; Sandberg et al. 2020; 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 AIS special interest group on Digital Innovation, Transformation, and Entrepreneurship (SIG DITE).


This Ph.D. 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 (see Table 1 below). A range of focus areas are discussed in relation to selected readings and illustrated by SCDI research projects. The course is divided into four phases, including both online and offline sessions.

  • Process Research on Innovation Trajectories

    Instructor: Michael Barrett, Cambridge University, Visiting Professor, Stockholm School of Economics

  • Organizing in the Digital Age - Frontiers in Digital Innovation Research

    Instructor: Kalle Lyytinen, Case Western Reserve University

  • Video Ethnography in Digital Entrepreneurship

    Instructor: Anna Brattström, Lund University, Research Fellow, Stockholm School of Economics

  • The Role of Digital Innovation in Organizational Transformation

    Instructor: Daniel Nylen

  • Context is King! Considering Particularism in Research Design and Reporting

    Instructor: Robert Davison, City University of Hong Kong

Contact and application

Apply for attending the course.

For additional information, see Course Syllabus.

Anna Essén, Stockholm School of Economics

Johan Magnusson, University of Gothenburg

Johan Sandberg, Umeå University