Conceptualizing obsolescence and digital transformation

Aylin Ates, Nuran Acur

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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This study aims to shed light on the notion of technological obsolescence and explore its links with digital transformation to achieve adaptability and resilience. We undertook an interpretive longitudinal study between 2009 and 2020, capturing the digital transformation journey of an award-winning, UK-based high-tech SME that is designing and manufacturing high-end home entertainment systems including digital streaming products, music players, and speakers. As a contribution to literature, we conceptualize and define the link between technological obsolescence and the digital transformation process. We offer a conceptual framework to explain the interplay of the adaptive capabilities through the concepts of empirical sensitivities and habitus in the context of digital transformation in SMEs. We suggest that SME managers should pay attention to developing non-cognitive dynamic capabilities to effectively respond to digitalization trends by orienting their employees toward careful management of technology obsolescence in a manner unique to the firm’s history and experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2023
Event30th IPDMC: Innovation and Product Development Management Conference - Politecnico di Milano, Lecco, Italy
Duration: 7 Jun 20239 Jun 2023


Conference30th IPDMC
Internet address


  • obsolescence
  • digital transformation
  • small and medium enterprise-SME
  • dynamic capabilities


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