International diversification, Digital Transformation and the Performance of Multinational Companies

Project Details


In 2015, Cisco System’s CEO, John Chambers, stated that “at least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years [...] if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies” Similarly, in a press release, IBM Watson’s CEO, Jeremy Waite, argued that “digital transformation takes around four years, and 85% of them fail”.
Furthermore, according to a recent survey of directors, CEOs, and senior executives by McKinsey, digital transformation is the number one concern of firms in 2019. This anecdotal evidence suggests that the digital transformation is the most important strategic topic of companies around the globe and the question what positively affects the degree of the digital transformation in firm´s is of paramount importance.

In this project, we address this research question and want to study:
1) How a firm´s digital transformation is influenced by their international diversification and how does this affect the performance of the company.
2) How does the degree of the digital transformation differ in Asian (specifically Japanese) and European (specifically Austrian) companies?

In order to answer the research question the set-up of a large-scale database including US, European and Asian firms is planned. The database will include two novel measures for the digital transformation: the coding of Chief Digitalization Officers using the big-data database BoardEx and content analysis of 20,000 earning calls to measure the Strategic Focus on Digitalization. Furthermore, in order to measure the degree of digitalization in Japanese firms a large survey will be conducted - this data will be analysed together with already collected data on digitalization of Austrian firms.
Effective start/end date1/09/201/10/21