call-for-papers Featured

Call for Papers: “Digital Literacy of Employees & Organizational Transformation and Innovation”

Special Issue: Digital Literacy of Employees & Organizational Transformation and Innovation

Guest Editors

A/Prof Dilek Cetindamar
Faculty of Engineering & IT
University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Dr. Babak Abedin
Faculty of Engineering & IT
University of Technology Sydney, Australia

A/Prof Nathasit Gerdsri
College of Management
Mahidol Univeristy, Thailand

A/Prof Kunio Shirahada
School of Knowledge Science
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


Research on digital transformation is on the rise, and dominantly covers modernization and changes in an organization`s structure, processes, functions, and business models due to the adoption of digital technologies (such as internet of things, artificial intelligence/machine learning, augmented reality, in-memory computing) (Matt et al. 2015; Sahu et al. 2018). Yet, the existing literature is largely focused on external factors, notably its relationship with customers, ignoring the role of internal factors such as employees in this process (Kane et al., 2019). As stressed by Westerman (2016), “digital transformation needs a heart”, which highlights how mismanagement of digital forces could harm the relationship with employees. As he rightly points out, managers should not “forget that it is people who make companies work.” This is also true for engineers who lead their employees at organizations by becoming leaders of technologies without oversighting the stress and pressure these rapidly changing technologies might generate on their subordinates (Orlikowski, 2000).

A recent study by Dery et al. (2017) found that the greatest challenge in many organizations for digital transformation and innovation is finding a way of re-imagining the employee experience. Liley et al. (2017) argues that the employees’ experience is already the new battleground for competitive advantage for organizations. Outside academic research, international associations such as European Commission (2007) and OECD (2016) or consultancy companies such as McKinsey (2016) increasingly emphasize the critical role of digital skills in digital economy. This fact itself is an alarming indication for calling on researchers to understand digital literacy of employees, a competency set required for the development and implementation of digital technologies so that it could become possible to develop strategies and policies to deal with the shortage of digital skills (Gekara & Nguyen, 2018; Littlejohn et al., 2012; Warner and Wager, 2019) .

Given that the academic literature has so far widely overlooked how the challenges of digital technologies are handled at the employee level (Li et al.,2019; Murawski and Bick, 2017; Vial, 2019), the theme of this special issue highlights the need for conceptualization and empirical study of the implications of employees’ digital literacy on organizational transformation and innovation. For this special issue, we particularly are interested in ways to measure and advance digital literacy of employees in the wake of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robots, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, and other emerging digital technologies (McAfee and Brynjolfsson, 2014).

We call for high quality research studies from academia, industry, governments, and non-profits, especially collaborations among these groups, to address tensions and/or synergies that may arise between digital technologies and organizational innovations. We welcome examination of these synergies and/or tensions at the societal, organizational, group/team, and individual levels of analysis.  We solicit case studies, surveys, experiments, qualitative research, and collaborative action research among academics, executives, and policy makers that illustrate innovative approaches, resolutions, and solutions to these tensions, risks, and opportunities. We especially seek papers that offer theoretical models combined with evidences of the consequences or findings of observations related to these models that could expand technology management discipline in understanding human side of technological innovations.

Suggested topics are, but not limited to the following areas:

• Impacts of digital literacy of employees on organizational innovation

• Affordances of digital literacy for organizational transformation
• Novel ways for measuring and quantifying digital literacy in the age of AI, IoT and advanced digital technologies
• New theories in conceptualizing the relationship between digital skills and organizations
• Empirical studies in improving employees’ digital skills in various sectors
• Impacts of organizational and technological factors on employees
• Opportunities and challenges of advancing employees’ digital literacy and skills
• Relationship between the composition of management and employees and the rate of adoption and deployment of digital technologies
• The role of individual factors (such as age and organizational status, i.e. full-time, part-time, and freelance) of employees on the enactment of digital technologies
• Ethical and legal issues of managing digitally illiterate employees
• Use of advanced digital technologies to advance digital skills of employees
• Implications of abandoning employees in the organizational transformation journey

Notes for Prospective Authors:

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Conference papers is only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper.

Manuscripts should be submitted through the publisher’s online system. Submissions will be reviewed according to the journal’s rigorous standards and procedures through double-blind peer review by at least two qualified reviewers.

Submission Process

Please prepare the manuscript according to IEEE-TEM’s guidelines ( and submit to the journal’s Manuscript Central site ( Please upload the paper on the IEEE TEM Editorial Manager clearly indicating it is submission for the IEEE TEM Special Issue on Digital Literacy of Employees & Organizational Transformation and Innovation.

Schedule for the Special Issue:

June 15, 2022 – Full paper submission deadline for the review process.

January 15, 2023 – First round of reviews sent to authors

January 15, 2026 – Expected publication in print, however note that: each accepted paper’s online version will become available at the journal’s website as soon as accepted.


  • Dery, C., Sebastian, I. M. & van der Meulen, N. (2017). The digital workplace is key to digital innovation. MIS Quarterly Executive, 16, 135-151.
  • European Commission (2007). Digital literacy: Skills for the information society. European
  • Commission.
  • Gekara, V. O. & Nguyen, V. X. T. (2018). New technologies and the transformation of work and skills. New Technology, Work and Employment, 33 (3), 219-233.
  • Kane, G. C., Phillips, A. N., Copulsky, J. R., & Andrus, G. R. (2019). The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation. Boston, MA: MIT Press.
  • Li, J., Zhou, J., & Cheng, Y (2019). Conceptual Method and Empirical Practice of Building Digital Capability of Industrial Enterprises in the Digital Age. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 10.1109/TEM.2019.2940702.
  • Liley, M., Feliciano, P., & Laurs, A. (2017). Employee experience reimagined. Accenture.
  • Littlejohn, A., Beetham, H., & Mcgill, L. (2012). Learning at the digital frontier: A review of digital literacies in theory and practice. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(6), 547-556.
  • Matt, C., Hess, T., & Benlian, A. (2015). Digital transformation strategies. Business &

Information Systems Engineering, 57 (5), 339-343.

  • McAfee, A. and Brynjolfsson, E. (2014). The second machine age: Work, progress and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • McKinsey Global Institute (2017), Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions In a Time of Automation. December.
  • Murawski, M. & Bick, M. (2017). Digital competences of the workforce – a research topic? Business Process Management Journal, 23 (3), 721-734.
  • OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2016), Working party on measurement and analysis of the digital economy: Skills for a digital world. Paris: OECD.
  • Orlikowski, W.J. (2000). Using technology and constituting structures: A practice lens for studying technology in organizations. Organization Science, 11, 404–428.
  • Vial, G. (2019). Understanding digital transformation: A review and a research agenda. Journal of Strategic Information Systems,
  • Warner, K. S. R. & Wäger, W. (2019). Building dynamic capabilities for digital transformation. Long Range Planning, 52, 326–349.
  • Westerman, G. (2016). Why digital transformation needs a heart. MIT Sloan Management Review, 58 (1), 19-21.

Guest Editor Bios

Dr. Dilek Cetindamar

Dr Dilek Cetindamar Kozanoglu is an Assoc. Prof. in the School of Information, Systems, and Modelling at University Technology Sydney, Australia. She worked at many universities, including Case Western Reserve University (USA), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), and Sabanci University (Turkey). She has more than 100 publications, including 9 books and 42 in international refereed journals. She received PICMET Fellow Award in 2019, best book award from International Association for Management of Technology in 2012, and an “encouragement award” from Turkish Academy of Sciences in 2003.

Dr Abedin

Dr Abedin is  Senior Lecturer at University of Technology Sydney. His research examines positive and negative impacts of social information systems on organisations and people. In particular, his research interest is at the intersection of Health analytics, social analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and digital transformation. His publications have appeared in outlets such as the journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Internet Research, Journal of the American Medical Informatics, Information Systems Frontiers, and Computers & Education. Babak has also written for The Conversation and has been invited to speak at CEBIT Australia 2019, and for interviews with ABC News 24, 2Ser Radio and others.

Dr. Nathasit Gerdsri

Dr. Nathasit Gerdsri is an Associate Professor, consultant, researcher, and technologist with over 20 years of experience in technology and innovation management supporting the development of corporate strategy and government policy as well as the program development for management education.  Recently, he has taken a new initiative as CEO and Founder of TheStrategence – a startup that provides digital platform for management consultancy. Dr. Gerdsri received his Ph.D. degree in Systems Science/Technology Management from Portland State University, USA. His researches are actively in the areas of roadmapping to enhance the robustness of TRM development process and implementation. His works were published in IEEE Transaction on Engineering Management, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Journal of Technology Engineering Management, etc. Currently, Dr. Gerdsri also serves an Area Editor of the International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM) as well as Editorial board member of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. He is a member of IEEE Society, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Omega Rho International Honor Society which he is used to serve as the PSU Chapter President. He is also listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World.

Dr. Kunio Shirahada

Dr. Kunio Shirahada is an Assoc. Prof. in Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST). His research interests include Transformative Service Research (service sustainability, community revitalization for collective well-being creation, service for the elderly) and people management in technological organization. He has published his articles in the Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Technology in Society, Journal of Business Research, Int. J of Technology Management, Int. J of Innovation and technology management, Service Industries Journal, and other Japanese service related journals. He is a member of editorial board on IEEE-EM, and other technology management journals.

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management is journal of the Technology and Engineering Management Society of IEEE, published quarterly since 1954. It is dedicated to the publication of peer-reviewed original contributions, by researchers and practitioners, regarding the theory and practice of engineering, technology, and innovation management.

Editor in Chief

Tugrul U Daim,
PhD PICMET Fellow, Professor and Director
Technology Management Doctoral Program
Department of Engineering and Technology Management
Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
Portland State University, Portland OR
United States

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