University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Exploring Digital Transformation in German Mittelstand to Identify and Advance Future Key Competencies from a strategic Human Resource Management Perspective – A Grounded Delphi Study

Knoche, Inga (2022) Exploring Digital Transformation in German Mittelstand to Identify and Advance Future Key Competencies from a strategic Human Resource Management Perspective – A Grounded Delphi Study. DBA thesis, University of Worcester.

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DBA_Thesis_Inga Knoche.pdf - Submitted Version

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A growing use of digital technologies leads to new business models and changed ways of working, this also entails strategic, cultural and process-related changes in organisations. These dynamic and complex changes place new demands on people in organisations. A growing body of current research is already focusing on these new requirements and the dynamic interplay of several aspects of digital transformation in organisations. Initial research from the perspective of strategic human resource management (SHRM) focuses on these new work situations. So far, however, there is a gap in theory and practice regarding the future competencies of German Mittelstand (GM) for the digital transformation, especially with regard to the clarity of which competencies these are and how they can be advanced. This is especially relevant for the consideration from a SHRM perspective, as companies of GM usually do not have these resources in the area of SHRM. Therefore, the aim of this research is to close the gap and to understand the digital transformation in German Mittelstand and, based on this, to identify the required future key competencies and to develop insights into the advancement of these key competencies from a SHRM perspective. A qualitative research design under the social constructivist paradigm with an explorative and inductive approach was adopted to address this gap. The Grounded Delphi Method (GDM) was used to generate knowledge and forecast the key competencies required in GM in the future. The results of the two round GDM led to a deep data base and insights for the study. The findings show that a strong change in work is to be expected in the Mittelstand due to the further integration of digital technologies. This will result in future key competencies, which above all demand more responsibility from each individual and increasingly require emotional and social competencies as well as some personality-based characteristics. In GM, the owner in particular is a central driver for further development. To progress this, a model was developed that complements the findings in a SHRM model to understand the different elements that influence the future competencies of people in the digital transformation in context to enable measures to advance competencies in GM companies.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the University’s requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Business Administration, University of Worcester, 2022.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Digital Transformation, German Mittelstand, Future Competencies, Strategic Human Resource Management, Grounded Delphi Method
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2023 11:38
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2023 11:38

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