Carlos Carbajal Pina

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Office: Hunterian Space Office 613, Adam Smith Business School

Research title

Organising for Digital Innovation in Industry 4.0

Research summary

Research interests: 
• Digital innovation
• Business models innovation
• Value network innovation
• Strategic technology management
• Systems thinking and complexity theory

My research focuses on the topic of digital innovation in the context of Industry 4.0. In particular, I seek to understand the role/effect of technology in the innovation process of business models and value networks.

With the rise of ubiquitous technologies, practitioners and academics are interested in how organisations can take advantage of the new or expanded capabilities offered by emerging technologies to devise new or betters ways to generate value for customers and their organisation. However, there is still considerable uncertainty about the affordances and constraints that these technologies provide. Moreover, there has been a rise in the complexity of production and organisational systems derived from the greater automation and interconnection of processes caused by Industry 4.0.
The literature on the subject offers various approaches to face these challenges; however, most of these are limited to theoretical developments that identify some of their fundamental concepts, explore the interaction between such elements, and suggest potential research lines for further development. My study seeks to provide empirical evidence that helps to bridge the epistemological gap existing in the digital innovation literature between its conceptualisation and operationalisation.

Digital innovation embodies a dual meaning. On the one hand, it refers to the incorporation of digital technologies and approaches to the innovation process. On the other hand, it describes the subsequent outcome of such a process. My research focuses on the former, and its aim is twofold. First, it seeks to develop a theoretical model that describes the elements, their interactions, and contingency effects conforming the innovation process. Second, it intends to create a framework that organisations could use as a reference to identify the technologies and processes that would allow them to innovate their digital strategy, as well as suggestions for implementing those changes.

However, due to the ample range of possibilities to achieve these objectives, my research has led me to identify two trends present in the literature that address the challenges described above: (1) innovation of business models, and (2) innovation of value networks. Thus, during the initial stage of my research, I have focused on understanding these concepts, and devising a research design that addresses my research objectives.

Therefore, I am currently in the process of developing preliminary theoretical models describing the architecture and mechanisms of business models and value networks. Which, in turn, I expect to refine by confronting them with the empirical evidence obtained from a holistic multiple-case study methodology. Furthermore, following an iterative process, I plan to develop robust models that describe the role/effect of technology in the innovation process of business models and value networks.



Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Glasgow in:
• International Strategic Management
• Managing Creativity and Innovation

Student Research Assistant at the Hamburg University of Technology in:
• Constitution of innovative teams
• Start-up development
• Business model generation


Additional information

  • Supports the ASBS community as Student Representative for Management Postgraduate Research
  • Awarded with the Chartered Management Institute Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management