New research from Copenhagen Business School, along with Leuphana University and University of Turku sheds light on the importance of subtracting as much as adding in the journey of digital workplace transformation.
The research focused on one of the world’s oldest car manufacturers who employs more than 200,000 employees worldwide and who launched its digital workplace transformation strategy in 2016.
“The subtraction logic, that is, the process of removing obstructive routines and technologies, is often disregarded in digital workplace transformation, despite being equally crucial,” says co-author and Associate Professor Abayomi Baiyere at the Department of Digitalisation, Copenhagen Business School.
The findings highlight two approaches to a successful digital transformation: the addition logic of incorporating new technology and the subtraction logic of eliminating old technology that sustains unwanted practices. By emphasising the need for subtraction logic alongside addition logic, the research unveils a critical aspect often neglected in digital workplace transformation.
“By recognising the value of subtraction logic and not taking a one-sided focus on just the addition logic, organisations can foster innovation, adaptation, and employee empowerment,” adds Associate Professor Abayomi Baiyere.
The paper was recently published in the Journal of Strategic Information Systems.