David Langley

POSITION: PROFESSOR | INTERNET, INNOVATION AND STRATEGY
TNO UNIT: STRATEGIC ANALYSIS & POLICY (STRATEGIC BUSINESS ANALYSIS)
UNIVERSITY: UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN (ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS / INNOVATION MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY)
 
TNO LOCATION: EEMSGOLAAN, GRONINGEN
EMAIL: DAVID.LANGLEY@TNO.NL
TEL: +31888667753

RESEARCH AREA

Many industries are being transformed by digital innovations, including the internet of things (IoT), and by society’s need to move towards a circular economy. In both an economic and an environmental sense, the internet has the potential to change our world for the better. Economically: businesses, their suppliers and their customers are able to develop stronger and more intimate stakeholder relationships through digital connectedness. Environmentally: new business models based around the product-as-a-service idea, making use of real-time data and connected intelligence, encourage firms to design, source and maintain products according to the principles of the circular economy. As such, a synergy can be derived through new business value creation and natural resource efficiency.

However, commentators increasingly warn that digital innovation is also failing society in a number of ways. It is damaging the ways that societal discourse is carried out, it contributes significantly to the production of greenhouse gasses, it stimulates the consumption of disposable products, and it results in the diversion of value (knowledge and finance) away from local communities towards globally dominant firms. If digital innovation is not guided in a new direction, the negative effects will be significant.

TNO and the University of Groningen address these issues together and support Dutch and other European organisations to understand the mechanisms involved, to balance technological opportunities with their societal applicability and acceptance, and to identify and optimize new digital business models that also enhance environmental sustainability. My research contributes to the TNO roadmaps ‘ICT – Data Sharing’ and ‘Circular Economy – Impact Assessment’.

RECENT RESULTS

Developed a new framework of ‘the smartness of things’ to aid our understanding of artificial intelligence and hyper-connectivity. The framework shows how firms’ business models change as their products and appliances become imbued with smartness.

Performed study on how digital technology changes “institutional logic”, i.e. organizations’ belief systems and unwritten rules that shape their behaviour. The findings show that firms follow set patterns of strategic development in order to align the new digital logic with their traditional logic. These findings can help managers to understand how their strategy development can be guided in order to benefit from the opportunities that digital technologies bring about.

Modelled a flexible investment system, based on real options valuation (ROV), to include considerations of social and environmental impact. When firms invest in new technologies, uncertainty is high, and ROV allows managers to flexibly change the course of the investment as new information is obtained.

Demonstrated that social media use by people with a chronic healthcare condition can improve their relationships with doctors. As patients become more self-determining, their requirements from healthcare professionals shift away from wanting prescribed treatment decisions towards wanting coaching and collaborative decision making.

Elected as co-chair of Innovation Ecosystems working group at the European Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (https://aioti.eu/), a collaboration initiated by the European Commission and run by 200+ technology organisations across Europe. Invited track chair of the research track, Digital Ecosystems: The Economic, Social, and Environmental Impact of Pervasive Connectivity, at the European Conference on Information Systems (https://ecis2020.ma/ecis-2020-tracks/), a leading academic community of scholars researching at the intersect between ICT and business. Opening keynote presentations at various meetings related to digital innovation and strategy and the circular economy. Including at International Conference on Information Systems Development (https://isd2019.isen.fr/program.php#keynotes), and IEEE International Workshop on Smart Circular Economy (https://sites.google.com/view/smace2019).

PHD SUPERVISION

  • Tijs van den Broek (University of Twente), When Slacktivism Matters: On the Organization and Outcomes of Online Protests Targeting Firms
  • ​Edin Smailhodzic (University of Groningen, TNO ERP), Transformative effects of social media: How patients’ use of social media affects roles and relationships in healthcare

TOP PUBLICATIONS

  • Langley, D.J., J. van Doorn, I.C.L. Ng, S. Stieglitz, A. Lazovik, and A. Boonstra (forthcoming), “The Internet of Everything: Smart things and their impact on business models.” Conditionally accepted at Journal of Business Research.
  • Langley, D.J., M. Zirngibl, J. Sbeih and B. Devoldere (2017), “Trajectories to reconcile sharing and commercialization in the maker movement”, Business Horizons, 60(6), 783–794.
  • Broek, T.A. van den, D.J. Langley and T. Hornig (2017), “The effect of online protests and firm responses on shareholder and consumer evaluation”, of Business Ethics, 146(2), 279–294.

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