Digital Transformation in Small And Micro-Sized Firms

A Case Study of a Performing Arts Cluster

  • Tom Roar Eikebrokk Dept. of Information Systems, University of Agder
  • Emma Lind Agder Research Foundation
  • Dag Håkon Olsen Dept. of Information Systems, University of Agder


There is a growing emphasis on digital transformation in research and business practice. Research has documented that digital transformation is a very challenging endeavour, especially for small and medium- sized enterprises. There is a general lack of research on the digital transformation phenomenon, and in particular on how such transformation takes place in a network of small and medium-sized firms. This paper reports from a study of a cluster of performing arts organizations, Blender Collective. They realized that audience data is a key issue, and that they lack the tools to work strategically with audiences. Blender Collective members therefore engaged in a project to develop a collaborative approach towards strategic audience development. We found that the most important perceived benefits were better ability to target customers, better ability to share data and knowledge, and the development of the cultural industry. The most important challenges were lack of ownership, lack of resources, lack of incentives and lack of a clear common vision. The results expand our understanding of the dynamics related to digital transformation in multi-actor settings and co-creation in a cluster of small businesses.