Organizational Routines and Digital Transformation: An Analysis of How Organizational Routines Impact Digital Transformation Transition in a Saudi University

Ibrahim Almatrodi*, Dimitra Skoumpopoulou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


This study was undertaken in response to the current lack of research identifying organizational routine influences that are exerted on organizations, including in relation to digital transition. Digital transformation refers to the integration of digital technologies, such as data analytics and automation, into an organization, engendering changes in its work routines, processes, structure, and culture. However, digital transition is a strategic process involving significant structural and procedural changes in the shift from one technology to another. Therefore, understanding the effect of organizational routines is essential for understanding how digital transformation impacts an organization, and how best to manage this transition. This study explores the impact of organizational routines on digital transition, in order to understand how they can facilitate a successful digital transformation. It employs a single case study of a university that recently implemented digital technologies, including big data analytics and automation, in some of its managerial services for its employees. It marked a significant technological shift for this public university, and the study specifically explores how the organizational routines affected this digital transition, particularly in terms of managerial and administrative issues. In modern times, many universities worldwide have undergone significant changes, and it is therefore essential to document the impact of organizational routines on digital transition, especially in developing countries where universities play a crucial societal role. The complexity of universities as organizations, and the interaction between organizational routines and digital transition highlight the importance of a case study approach for understanding this complexity. The university with which this study is concerned is a leading public university that holds considerable influence and a leadership role within the higher education sector, and which has adopted various technologies and information systems. The success of the digital transformation at this university may have a significant impact on other universities in the region and encourage them to adopt similar approaches to digital transition and digital transformation in the future, if they understand the impact of organizational routines in such transitions. The results show that organizational routines play a leading role in digital transformation transition; moreover, some aspects can explain the ways in which these routines influence digital transformation transition, such as inherited status, the adaptation of technology and changes to current organizational settings, and power. This study can contribute toward the successful implementation of digital transformation and influence the strategies adopted for the transitions required by digital technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number239
Number of pages30
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023

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