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Sebastian Firk and co-authors win two awards for their paper on digital innovation and firm performance

03 February 2023
Associate professor Sebastian Firk
Associate professor Sebastian Firk

Sebastian Firk and co-authors André Hanelt, Björn Hildebrandt and Lutz M. Kolbe have recently won two awards for their paper titled ‘Digital M&A, digital innovation and firm performance: an empirical investigation’. The authors received the Stafford Beer medal and the AIS Best Information Systems Publications Award for 2022.

Sebastian Firk is Associate Professor in Management Accounting at the Faculty of Economics and Business. His research combines insights from management accounting, corporate governance, and strategy. Currently, Sebastian focuses on the implications of the digitalization on firms, managers and, particularly, the finance function. Firk’s co-authors are affiliated with the University of Kassel (Hanelt) and the University of Göttingen (Hildebrandt & Kolbe).

The awards

The Stafford Beer medal is awarded by the European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS) in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of Information Systems published in EJIS within the relevant year.

The Association for Information Systems (AIS) is the premier professional association for individuals and organizations who lead the research, teaching, practice, and study of information systems worldwide. Annually, senior scholars of AIS present up to five papers with a Best Information Systems (IS) Publications Award. This award was established to recognize the breadth of high-quality work that is being published in the information systems discipline, and was designed to bring outstanding papers across a range of journals to the attention of the IS community, and to give due credit to the journals in which they are published.

Firk and co-authors are honored to receive the awards. Firk: “It is great to receive this recognition for our work, especially as publishing the paper was a challenging journey. We started our work at the beginning of 2015, and the topic has become even more relevant as more and more established companies start to acquire digital companies. We show that their strategy can pay off.”

The paper

Aiming to support digital innovation endeavors, industrial-age companies increasingly acquire firms that heavily build upon digital technologies. In their paper, Firk and co-authors draw on a knowledge-based perspective as well as the particularities of digital technologies and the context of digital innovation and theorize the link between digital mergers and acquisitions (M&A), a digital knowledge base on the part of the acquirer, and the consequences for digital innovation and firm performance. The authors employ panel data regressions to a longitudinal dataset of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. Their findings suggest that executing digital M&A contributes to building the digital knowledge base of industrial-age firms, which in turn enables them to drive digital innovation. Firk and co-authors’ findings further indicate that digital innovation improves firm performance of industrial-age firms.

More information

“Digital M&A, digital innovation, and firm performance: an empirical investigation” by André Hanelt, Sebastian Firk, Björn Hildebrandt, and Lutz M. Kolbe, European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS).

Questions? Please contact Sebastian Firk.

Last modified:02 February 2023 10.47 a.m.

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