For students

For students

Do you want to be a part of DIG - Norway's leading operating research center on Digital Innovation for sustainable Growth?

We are looking for ambitious master students interested in digital innovation. Master students who will contribute to DIG or the DIG RaCE research project and knowledge development in cooperation with our business partners (see figure 1). You may write in English or Norwegian.

MASTER’S THESIS THEMES FOR AUTUMN 2022

  • Methodology developments

    Methodology developments

    THEME 1: Methodology developments

    We are currently working on updating information about this theme.

  • Adoption of technologies and innovations

    Adoption of technologies and innovations

    THEME 2: Adoption of technologies and innovations

    Digital innovations and new services are of little value unless they are adopted by end-users. As the majority of new products and services in fact fail, it is crucial for both commercial firms and government institutions to understand the drivers and barriers of new service adoption, as well as how to change consumer behavior in digital environments. 

    DIG will study how organizations can increase commercial success by lowering consumer adoption barriers, removing uncertainty and ‘nudging’ consumers to change their behavior in digital environments and complex service systems. Digital services are radically different from traditional services in their reliance on platforms, co-creation with other consumers, and sharing/subscription rather than ownership. Together with industry partners, DIG will offer new perspectives and tools for understanding and influencing how consumer’s think and act in such complex decision contexts.

    DIG will also focus on how organizations can build and maintain trust when customer interactions are primarily digital, as well as study how consumers react to the use and application of personal data in such interactions.  

    Current projects on consumer adoption include:

    • New approaches and perspectives for understanding consumer adoption
    • Consumer reactions to sharing-economy services
    • Consumer adoption of new sustainable products and business models
    • The different facets of digital trust in adoption of novel services
    • Reactance and resistance to the use of end-users personal data
    • The role of consumer movement in decision-making
    • Consumer interaction with robots/AI
    • The role of VR in destination marketing
    • The effects of quantification on consumer behavior
    • Improving decisions and changing behavior via digital nudging
  • Creating and capturing value in the digital era

    Creating and capturing value in the digital era

    Theme 3: Creating and Capturing Value in the Digital Era

    This Theme will lay the groundwork by defining and conceptualizing digital business model innovation and its antecedents, barriers, facilitators and impact on firm performance.

    Subproject 3.1 Digital business models: barriers, facilitators and performance outcomes

    The far-reaching consequences of disruption deeply affect established firms which need to rethink their traditional business models and how they can create, deliver, communicate and capture value in a digital economy. Specifically, we need an empirical analysis of how digitalization affects investments in business assets, and we need to define different types of digital business models and the reasons underlying their different profitability levels.

    Specifically, we will combine (i) qualitative case studies conducted in close collaboration with industry partners (e.g., Telenor, EVRY, Posten) to establish and refine hypotheses and (ii) survey design among Norwegian service providers and registry data to test the resulting hypotheses. The findings of the qualitative and quantitative analyses will shed light on the linkages between digitalization, business model innovation and firm performance. Our results provide a deep understanding of these issues which we expect to significantly contribute to the theoretical advancement of the field as well as provide managers with a framework on how to design, implement and manage digital BMI, i.e. value creation, value delivery, value communication, and value capturing.

    Possible topics for master theses include (but are not limited to):

    • Sustainability: investigating the linkages between sustainability and digitalization, that is, how does the use of digital technology help facilitate sustainable business models
    • Social value creation: How does the use of digital technology help start-ups or charitable organizations to create social business models (with the dual mission of tackling a social challenge as well as being profitable)
    • Internationalization: How does the use of digital technology impact how firms expand abroad? Why do some digital firms succeed in going global while others fail?

    SUBPROJECT 3.2 THE NORWEGIAN INNOVATION INDEX (NII)

    Recognizing that it is customers’ adoption and usage decisions that determine the success of new products and, ultimately, of innovators themselves, a research team at NHH – Norwegian School of Economics has developed a novel, outside-in and bottom-up approach to evaluating innovation efforts – the Norwegian Innovation Index (NII): The world’s first customer-based ranking of most innovative firms!

    NII is a theoretically derived measurement instrument that rests on two assumptions:

    1. countries cannot be innovative — companies can; and
    2. leaders and experts are not the final judges of innovations—customers are.

    Through a carefully designed procedure, NII captures both firms’ innovations and customers’ perceptions of changes in value co-creation that result from these innovations. The focus is on assessing perceived firm innovativeness and on examining the effects of perceived firm innovativeness on firms’ strategic positioning and customer loyalty. Today, the NII-approach is adopted in five other countries and operated by leading business school: Sweden (Karlstad business school; Denmark, Århus University-business school; Finland, Hanken Business school; Belgium, Hasselt University - business school, and USA, Fordham Garibaldi School of Business.

    From the annual survey we collect data from all countries and store them in a database at NHH Norwegian School of Economics organized by country, year, industry, firm, and constructs. Data is, on request, made available for research.

  • Strategy in / for digital ecosystems

    Strategy in / for digital ecosystems

    THEME 4: Strategy in and for Digital Ecosystems  

    In a world with increasing levels of digitalization, we see that organization often operate within so-called digital ecosystems. Thus, understanding digital ecosystems is relevant because it represents a new way of organizing economic activity, and because this new way is rapidly capturing “market shares” from alternative and more traditional ways of organizing and coordinating economic activities. By traditional ways we mean those methods of organization and coordination that rely on integrated hierarchical solutions within one diversified firm, as transactions between independent parties in a market, or by regular alliances or collaboration-projects.

    What sets digital ecosystems apart is that they typically arise in situations where a range of different technologies and areas of expertise are needed to interact (seamlessly and continually) to realize a value creation potential or some specific value proposition. These technologies and areas of expertise are possessed by more than one organization, often with diverse backgrounds, which requires coordination. This coordination is mostly achieved by standardizing the interfaces between the different modules of the system. If this interface is respected, modules will work together even if those working on the different modules remain independent firms. Data and information can flow unrestricted across modules, participants in the system can specialize on different modules and innovate and experiment on their own - without the need for permission or funding from some central decision maker. As a result, digital ecosystems have in many settings demonstrated an ability to innovate faster, specialize more, and create bundles of complementary goods and services that users’ value more effectively than alternative arrangements

    Despite this common understanding, academics and practitioners struggle with several core aspects of digital ecosystems which ultimately affects their ability to create and capture value from operating in such systems. On one hand, the large variation, complexity and dynamism of these systems make it difficult to understand how they are born/created, how they function, how they compete and change, and how to navigate and position within them. Or in more general terms: how to think about strategy in and for digital ecosystems.   

  • RaCE: Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    RaCE: Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    THEME 5: race: Organizational capacity for radical change and innovation

    Digital transformation almost invariably implies some degree of organizational change. Radical change and innovation has proven particularly challenging for well-established firms with a history of success as they tend to develop structural and cultural inertia. In this stream of research, the overarching question is how established firms can develop their capacity to transform, renew and radically innovate.

    The research theme includes the ongoing RaCE (Radical Technology-Driven Change in Established Firms) project, which is a four-year research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council in collaboration with Deloitte, DNB, Læredal Medical and Telenor. RaCE conducts comparative analyses of contemporary organizational solutions aiming for radical change and innovation, documenting their inherent benefits and challenges. A series of case studies on the ambidextrous solution, agility, partnerships, and ecosystems is being developed through close collaboration with industry partners and other firms that attempt to build their long-term capacity for radical change and innovation.

    This theme also covers research on how radical change can come about through novel and innovative cooperation between the public and private sector. For many businesses sharing big data is envisioned as the “new goldmine”. In the Scandinavian countries, the public sector has built up unique data registers with significant potential within and across the public and private sector. Key partners in this research stream are Tax Norway and Finance Norway.

    Master thesis topics for the autumn 2022 are:

APPLICATION

To apply to be admitted as a DIG Master Student, please fill out the online application form where you include grade transcripts and a brief application letter (max 1 page) with information about your background, motivation to study the topic(s) of interest, preliminary research questions, and date for thesis submission.

CONDITIONS

  • A dedicated DIG advisor on your topic
  • An advisor with relationships to partners and networks, who often can help you with access if required. Sometimes you can write your thesis on existing data.
  • You’ll will be part of DIG – a leading Norwegian research center on your topic
  • Support of up to NOK 10.000 per thesis for travelling and other expenses, after agreement with supervisor.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Average grade B
  • Excellent communication skills. Students are expected to present their results to the research group and / or business partners, and will be challenged to write a blog to be published on DIG’s / The HUB@NHH’s webpage.

Application deadlines are: 

To write your thesis in the autumn semester: 15 March

To write your thesis in the spring semester: 15 October

APPLICATION FORM