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Digital Empowerment: Top Management’s Ambivalent Effects Related to Expertise and Heterogeneity

Abstract

Digitalization and the digital transformation of firms demands motivated and knowledgeable employees for coping with the changes and for providing inputs to further adaptations and developments of new digital solutions. First, the qualitative study of our multi-method study informs about the concept of digital empowerment. Our six identified components of the digital empowerment bridge structural and psychological empowerment linking it to digital matters. Our interviews point towards influences from functional heterogeneity of the top management team and the expertise of the CEO. In testing the relationship, our quantitative study shows that digital empowerment proliferates under more heterogeneity of the firm's top management team. Counterintuitively, our findings reveal that digital empowerment declines when the CEO has greater digital expertise.




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