Dr Rikke Duus
University College London (UCL)
School of Management
TRIP: A strategizing framework for dynamic ecosystems
Across industries, organisations are in search of new ways to enhance their competitiveness in the midst of digital disruption and a changing competitor landscape. To guide organisations through the turbulent waters of the digital era, we need new frameworks to help shape organisational strategy and decision-making. In this article, we introduce a new strategising framework that is designed, developed and tested to support organisations to navigate and maneuver in digital spheres.
DVC Framework: Accelerating Digital Value Creation
In this article, we present the Digital Value Creation (DVC) framework. The DVC framework can be used as an evaluative method for organisations to create, enhance and consolidate digital value.
We propose that organisations focus their digital value creation efforts in three interconnected areas: creating and managing ‘Experiences’, building meaningful and personalised ‘Relationships’ and accelerating ‘Evolution’ to support business longevity.
Towards dynamic ecosystems
To help organizations operate in dynamic and evolving environments with unprecedented speed of change and digital disruption, we propose a 3-step strategic approach. We call this the ‘ICE’ Framework.
Responding to digital transformation
Digital transformation is affecting businesses across industries. It is driven by new technologies, fierce competition and increasing expectations from customers of a ‘digital-first’ experience.
Consumers & Consumption
GenTech: Revolt on the digital horizon?
In recent years, many unethical business practices have been exposed, including the capture and use of consumers’ data, anticompetitive activities and covert social experiments.
But what do young people who grew up with the internet think about this development?
Our research with 400 digital natives – 19- to 24-year-olds – shows that this generation, dubbed “GenTech”, may be the one to turn the digital revolution on its head.
Are we all social media workers?
Over the last decade, social media platforms have successfully managed to carve out a significant part of our day to read, contribute and comment in the guise of democratising our communications. This has resulted in an immense trail of high value data, central to the platforms’ commercial success.
The dark sides of self-tracking
You no longer have to look to science fiction to find the cyborg. We are all cyborgs now. Mobile phones, activity trackers, pacemakers, breast implants and even aspirins all act as biological, cognitive or social extensions and enhancements of our bodies and minds.
Propensity to Game (P2G) in Digital Spheres
Mobile phones, smart watches, and wearable activity trackers (WATs) are just some of the technologies that are guiding, nudging, monitoring, and reminding individuals in their day-to-day lives. These devices are designed to enhance and support their human users, however, there is a lack of attention to the unintended consequences, the technology non-neutrality and the darker sides of becoming human-tech hybrids. We contributed with new insight on human-tech hybridity and present a concept referred to as the agency pendulum, reflecting the dynamism of agency.
How AI drives shopping behaviors
As consumers are looking for more sensory and immersive shopping experiences, the pressure is on for online retailers to find new ways to excite customers and keep them satisfied— artificial intelligence (AI) is the new technology they will use.
Algorithmic consumption loops
There are already many ways in which retailers use AI to interact with their customers. This type of AI is primarily based on learning customer preferences and behaviours, and providing tailored recommendations on a mass scale – also referred to as mass customisation.
The 4xCs of Connected Ecosystems
Digital technologies are fuelling the evolution of connected cities of the future.
Our research in Copenhagen with organizations that are leading the digital transformation agenda, reveals that there are four critical and self-propelling factors that are essential to meeting the future demands of cities and its citizens.
Based on our findings, we present a digital transformation framework of 4xCs that can be useful for cities and organizations across the world.
We see the 4xCs as a self-propelling framework as partners across the ecosystem contribute with knowledge, share expertise and innovate by challenging the status quo.
Veins and Wires: Reflections on UrbanTech Transformation
What kind of urban environment would you like to live in?
In this article, we critically reflect on how digital technologies are accelerating and changing the nature of urban spaces.
Using examples from around the world, we identify some of the boundaries of our technology-textured living and illuminate how the creation of our urban spaces takes place at the delicate intersection of personal privacy on one hand and the dream of the utopian ‘smart’ city on the other.
Cities of the future
Our research reveals that, although technology is important to the development of connected cities, there are other “softer” drivers at play, too – and we identified three that are critical to the success of future connected cities.
Towards an era of open data
Data has the power to revolutionize and disrupt the way societies are governed. None more so than open data, which is free to access, free to use and can be shared by anyone.
The Techno-Humane City
Feature article in Danish newspaper, Weekendavisen.
Let's STRIDE Towards UN SDG-led Innovation
It has never been more urgent for entrepreneurial, public, and private organisations to join forces to deliver innovative solutions that can create sustained societal value.
Based on our research into how organisations design, develop, and launch innovative collaborative initiatives with societal impact across Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, we introduce the STRIDE framework. STRIDE consists of six components: Strategise, Team Up, Review, Integrate, Deliver, and Evolve. We explain how organisations can use this framework to plan and guide their own UN SDG-led innovation in a processual and collaborative manner.
Upon introducing the STRIDE framework, we share two real-world examples of UN SDG-led innovation that are expected to create positive impact for citizens, enhance well-being, and accelerate the transformation of urban living.
Together We Innovate: Cross-Cultural Teamwork Through Virtual Platforms
In a global business environment, marketing education must support students to develop cross-cultural agility and adeptness with an aim to enhance their employability.
This article contributes with an experiential cross-cultural exercise that enables students to develop new enterprises in collaboration with other students in a different country through virtual teamwork. The exercise exposes students to practical cross-cultural learning, enterprise development, and virtual team management.
Results from students’ reflection journals indicate that the exercise is enjoyable, builds confidence in a range of skills, and prepares students for future employment. We offer guidance and direction on how to design and execute this experiential cross-cultural exercise and also highlight the challenges faced and strategies for success.
Empowering Students to Learn from Each Other
During the last four years, we’ve created several Digital Peer Learning Hubs for undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA, and executive masters students at University College London (UCL), ETH Zurich, and Hult-Ashridge.
At their core, these hubs are customized digital platforms that capture students’ thinking and submissions session by session, create transparency by showcasing how each student or student team solves the set tasks, and enable active peer and faculty feedback on completed tasks.
The Digital Peer Learning Hub approach is versatile and can be incorporated into both short and term-long courses. It can be used for both individual work and team-based tasks and projects.
Why Hackathons Aren't Just for Coders
Never has it been more important for business schools and educators to find new ways to engage students through the use of digital technologies, to enhance collaboration in the classroom, and to create opportunities for students to gain experience solving complex business and societal challenges.
Develop More Impactful Async Course Material
With the global pandemic still upon us, many educators are continuing to design, plan, and adjust courses for online delivery. And just like our students, we need to acquire new skills to succeed in an online learning environment. These skills are an investment in my future.
Digital as a Catalyst: Now is the time for business schools to transform
Over the last two years, the global pandemic has taught us that all businesses must evolve rapidly to meet new consumer and citizen demands. It is evident that those organisations that had already embraced digital technologies were able to race ahead, while others scrambled to find new digital business models to ensure their survival.
It is critical that business schools continue to evolve as providers of knowledge, skills, and experiences to help prepare learners for what is now a fast-changing and digital business environment. Organisations now expect their employees to have acquired a range of digital competences which will enable them to collaborate, communicate, network, solve problems, analyse data, ideate in teams, and create outputs using digital platforms. It will no longer be sufficient to possess basic IT skills in this new world of work. As such, business schools must embrace this reality and advance their digital transformation.
In this article, we present the four-stage ‘Digital Learner Experiences’ (DLE) framework that can assist business schools to accelerate their digital transformation in the new age of heightened learner connectivity, and given the desire for more flexible and business-relevant learning experiences.
Dare to evolve: Reassessing assessments in business schools
During the last few years, we have designed and developed multiple innovative group-based and individual assessments for students on business and management programmes.
These assessments lead to digitised and web-based outputs which can be easily shared with relevant others, while also ensuring that students acquire a multitude of essential digital skills. In the following, we share two assessment case examples that we have designed and used at UCL and Hult-Ashridge International Business School, respectively.
Enable learners to become confident digital explorers
Employers across the globe say that the current workforce is not equipped to work in a digital economy. According to the UK Government Digital Strategy report 2022, employers say that less than 50 per cent of new recruits have the necessary digital skills and they struggle to find appropriately talented individuals to help their businesses grow at pace.
UK businesses also say that basic IT skills and an understanding of data ethics, data communication and data visualisation are essential but are often lacking when they recruit new staff. This lack of digital skills in the UK is echoed across Europe.
This is why we believe that universities and business schools should design curricula and assessments that can help students become confident and capable of using a range of digital tools, platforms and other software that will enable them to be successful in their careers.
How Applied Strategic Projects can help executive participants drive change
They cannot rely on the historic insights, tacit knowledge, and practices of the past to make decisions about the future. IMF forecasts that global growth will slow from 6.0 percent in 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022 and 2.7 percent in 2023, while we see turmoil in international trade, and increasing unease within the political landscape.
Therefore, it is of heightened importance for next-gen and senior leaders to actively acquire new insight and understand current forces that affect an organisation’s ability to operate, compete and thrive.
We believe that given the current complex and uncertain business environment, business schools can add significant value to organisations by enabling participants on MBA and other executive programmes to undertake an Applied Strategic Project (ASP) that is driven by participants’ investigations into key strategic issues.