From SDA Bocconi DBA a roadmap for digital transformation within companies

DBA, Doctorate in Business Administration


A map to navigate a still mostly unexplored territory. That is what we could think is the essence of “Corporate Transformation Orchestration (CTxO)”, the research Biland Sadek is completing for his SDA Bocconi Doctorate in Business Administration - DBA thesis. He will discuss what he calls “a prescriptive literature the non-digital-native companies need throughout their transformation journey” during a webinar by international consulting firm SpenglerFox, next 18 February.

This far-reaching project developed from a simple but essential starting point: to face today’s disruptive change many companies that are not native digital undergo massive transformation processes. The outcome of these processes may be antipodal, optimal for the company, or fatal. When transformations succeed, they dramatically improve key business drivers. But research shows that most organizations unfortunately fail to survive such journeys. Companies spend trillion of dollars on business transformations, but most of the times on wrong investments.

Sadek, who is Philip Morris International’s MEA & Duty Free Regional Commercial Director and has over 20 years of experience working in different countries, realized it was impossible to find adequate academic handbooks on the topic. That is why he decided to develop “a practical framework, based on sound academic research at SDA Bocconi, to be used by non-digital native companies.”

Delving into the journeys of such companies revealed three essential dimensions of the transformation: business model transformation, digital enabled transformation, and organizational transformation. “My hypothesis is that companies who failed their transformation mis-orchestrated these three components,” says Sadek. In short, his work covers the steps of the journey to help companies reach their destination in the best of ways.

His project’s incubator has been SDA Bocconi DBA, a 3-year part-time program designed for managers and professionals who, by applying academic research to practical managerial issues, aim at being thought leaders at their organizations.

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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