Digital strategy aligning in SMEs: A dynamic capabilities perspective

Ana Isabel Canhoto, Sarah Quinton, Rebecca Pera, Sebastián Molinillo, Lyndon Simkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Digital strategy alignment is a dominant concern for today's managers and information systems researchers. Yet research in this area remains fragmented, particularly on the digital strategy alignment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is concerning owing to their value to European economies. Employing dynamic capabilities as an analytical lens, we investigate how 43 British, Irish, Italian, and Spanish SMEs, across five industry sectors, enact digital aligning. We identify a model of digital alignment comprising five phases, which we term “passive acceptance,” “connection,” “immersion,” “fusion,” and “transformation,” as well as the specific combinations of sensing, seizing, and reorganizing capabilities associated with each phase. Our model provides a holistic, practice-based perspective and highlights the role of micro-behaviors and leadership in SMEs implementing digital strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101682
JournalJournal of Strategic Information Systems
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received funding from Oxford Brookes University, UK, internal small grants award number 0012-15/48.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Digital strategy aligning
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Europe
  • Five-phase model
  • SMEs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


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