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EMAC 2023 Annual

Digital Competence of Firms

Published: May 24, 2023


Mark Elsner, Wiesbaden Business School; Jessica Knauß, Wiesbaden Business School, Hochschule RheinMain


Digital transformation demands a permanent willingness and ability to change. Prior research has highlighted the importance of digital marketing capabilities for a company’s performance. However, for marketing management, companies should not only have digital marketing skills but also be digitally competent in a broader sense. While a broad spectrum of work exists on digital competence on the individual level, research has not yet focused on digital competence of firms. Thus, the objective of this study is to develop a clear conceptualization of digital competence of firms. Using a grounded theory approach, we identify three key dimensions that form digital competence of firms: a digital mindset, appreciation of digital transformation, and technological expertise. We highlight the need for firms to be digitally competent and add to a fundamental understanding of the underlying concept of digital competence, thereby making both theoretical and practical contributions