Special Issue "Digital Transformation and Sustainability: Enabling the Digital Enterprise"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maro Vlachopoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Informatics, School of Information Sciences, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki 54636, Greece
Interests: information systems and E-business; E-mobile marketing; social media marketing; social networks; ICT innovation
Prof. Dr. Michael Bourlakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research for Cranfield School of Management, Centre of Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK
Interests: food supply chain management; retail supply chain management; sustainability in supply chains; IT/E-business and supply chain management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Efthymios Constantinides
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social Sciences (BMS), Department Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, The University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE, Enschede, The Netherlands
Interests: digital transformation; digital marketing; big data and consumer neuroscience (or neuromarketing) artificial intelligence; internet of things

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this new age of technology revolution, digital transformation is the new way of doing business by leveraging digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud, Big Data, Internet of Things, Mobile connectivity and Analytics, but also Augmented and virtual reality, resulting in significant changes in customer experience, business processes, and business models, and reshaping every industry across the globe.

Industry structures and business models are being disrupted, digital opportunities for retail are emerging,  and the digitalization of the economy is being rapidly accelerated. An estimated 70% of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platform business models. Since our planet is facing critical challenges such as climate change, natural disasters and other environmental risks, digitization can play a significant role in doing business more sustainable, having a significant impact in terms of the environmental, social, and economic footprints.

This Special Issue will examine the link between digital transformation and sustainability and will focus on the rise of new digital trends, the importance of digitization to support more sustainable operations and the effects of shaping the future of the digital enterprise. In this Special Issue, we are seeking to address research questions on topics including but not limited to disruptive digital technologies and actor-guided organizational transformation of capabilities, structures, processes and business model components in all industries.

Prof. Dr. Maro Vlachopoulou
Prof. Dr. Michael Bourlakis
Dr. Efthymios Constantinides
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • digital transformation
  • digital disruption
  • technological disruption (blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud, big data, internet of things, mobile connectivity and analytics, augmented and virtual reality)
  • customer experience
  • business processes
  • suistanable business models
  • digital entrepreneurship
  • digital marketing
  • circular economy
  • waste management
  • green economy & growth

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Article
Has Digital Financial Inclusion Narrowed the Urban-Rural Income Gap: The Role of Entrepreneurship in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158292 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 850
Abstract
The combination of digital technology and finance has brought about a new development model for financial inclusion. What impact will it have on the current imbalance in the distribution of financial resources and the urban-rural income gap in China? To answer this question, [...] Read more.
The combination of digital technology and finance has brought about a new development model for financial inclusion. What impact will it have on the current imbalance in the distribution of financial resources and the urban-rural income gap in China? To answer this question, this paper uses relevant data from 2014–2018 to study the impact of digital inclusive finance on the urban-rural income gap from the theory of financial exclusion, and analyzes the transmission of digital inclusive finance through alleviating financial exclusion, widening financing channels and helping residents with entrepreneurial spirit to start their own businesses, thus increasing jobs, raising the income of rural residents and reducing the urban-rural income gap. The conclusions are as follows: (1) digital inclusive finance can significantly converge the urban-rural income gap; (2) among the dimensions of digital inclusive finance, only the breadth of coverage can significantly reduce the urban-rural income gap, while the effects of depth of use and digitalization are not significant; (3) digital inclusive finance can alleviate the urban-rural income gap through the transmission mechanism of promoting residents’ entrepreneurship; (4) the worse the regional economic development and education, the better the effect of digital inclusive finance on the urban-rural income gap. This paper combines the above results to propose corresponding policy recommendations. Full article

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Systematic Review
The Transformation of Data Marketing: How an Ethical Lens on Consumer Data Collection Shapes the Future of Marketing
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11208; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132011208 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 270
Abstract
With a mass of customer data at our fingertips and the ability to use it to individualize promotion strategies, marketing communications, and product offerings, marketing activities are becoming more and more tailored to the individual customer. However, as concerns about online privacy and [...] Read more.
With a mass of customer data at our fingertips and the ability to use it to individualize promotion strategies, marketing communications, and product offerings, marketing activities are becoming more and more tailored to the individual customer. However, as concerns about online privacy and the handling of personal data take on an ever-increasing significance, marketers must increasingly evaluate and adapt their personalization and data collection methods. As a result, there is an increasing demand to take a critical look at the collection of data for personalization processes from an ethical perspective and to consider implications for further initiatives to maintain consumers’ trust. This research study utilizes a systematic literature review approach to investigate the current state of knowledge on the tradeoff between personalization and customer privacy by synthesizing and integrating extant knowledge. From the results of the present study’s search process, 20 articles were selected and analyzed for this review. Findings emphasize the importance of strengthening consumer relationships by increasing consumer trust, loyalty, confidence, and emotional attachment through specific organizational activities. The adaptation of marketing-related activities can thereby create a competitive advantage for data-collecting companies, as consumer backlash and privacy concerns decrease, and the willingness to disclose data increases. The current research contributes to the field of marketing by reviewing the issue of increasing personalization at the cost of customer privacy and explores how the resulting ethical considerations may affect the future of marketing practices. It thereby serves to help marketeers to implement effective strategies to ensure customer relationships and the resulting willingness to disclose personal data for personalization processes. Full article
Systematic Review
Social Media Marketing as a Branding Strategy in Extraordinary Times: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10310; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810310 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
This review expands our insight into the ways the required adaptation to digital channels caused by COVID-19 has affected the creation of brand equity through social media marketing. Based on a systematic literature review, we propose a conceptual framework that answers the following [...] Read more.
This review expands our insight into the ways the required adaptation to digital channels caused by COVID-19 has affected the creation of brand equity through social media marketing. Based on a systematic literature review, we propose a conceptual framework that answers the following research question: How can businesses, amidst and after the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt their social media marketing strategy to create positive brand equity? The conceptual framework describes four components as the basis for a potential social media marketing strategy. First, (1) businesses need to develop a clear perspective on their current social media marketing activities, and (2) evaluate current branding elements. Based on this, (3) the timeline of marketing activities must be postponed or adapted to the needs of consumers. Lastly, (4) businesses must adapt their messaging to show empathy and deliver relevant information. Within this process, governmental parties, financial institutions, influencers, and consumers are identified as stakeholders who influence and assist businesses in optimizing their social media marketing strategy. These findings are relevant for academics and businesses to further understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 on social media marketing. Additionally, they highlight that the roles of online channels and the consumer are expanding in the future. Full article
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