The effect of strategic orientation on the commercial exploitation of digitalisation : a study on digitalisation in Norwegian companies
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- Master Thesis 
Digitalisation is a heavily debated topic within the business community. However, there is little empirical research on digitalisation, and accordingly practitioners define best practice. This thesis seeks to theorise strategies employed by firms in order to increase commercial exploitation of digitalisation. It investigates how the classic theoretical framework of strategic orientations influences the more diffuse theory of the concept of digitalisation. The measurement of commercial exploitation of digitalisation consists of two distinct components: digitalisation to increase revenue (i.e. digital transformation), and digitalisation to cut costs (i.e. digitisation). The results are based on a quantitative survey with respondents from medium and large Norwegian companies across service- and manufactoring industries. The thesis reveals that market oriented- and technological oriented businesses are more committed to utilise digital technology to increase their revenue. Market orientation has the strongest effect. We find no evidence to support that strategic orientation has any significant impact on companies’ ability to reduce costs by applying digital technology. There was found no support of any effect from combining strategic orientations in order to increase commercial exploitation of digitalisation. Neither organisational collaboration nor communication across company departments shows any significant effect on commercial exploitation of digitalisation. Additionally, the thesis demonstrates that digital transformation leads to both a competitive advantage and increased profitability across industries. However, there is no correspondence between digitisation and these measurements of performance.