The Role of Employees in Digital Transformation: A Preliminary Study on How Employees' Digital Literacy Impacts Use of Digital Technologies


Even though digital technologies such as cloud technologies are prevalent in transforming businesses, the role of employees and their digital skills in the process is, to a large extent, neglected. This article brings forward the novel concept of digital literacy to explore the role of employees in understanding the wide variety of opportunities of digital technologies and their actualization. By treating digital literacy as the antecedent of cognitive behavior of employees in utilizing cloud technology at companies, we apply the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) for analyzing preliminary empirical data collected from 124 Australian employees' technology use intentionality and behavior. The quantitative analysis shows that the TPB holds for the utilization of cloud technology and there is a positive relationship between employees' digital literacy and the utilization of cloud technology at companies. Overall, the study contributes to the technology management literature by offering a workable construct to measure the digital skills of employees in the form of digital literacy. Further, it expands the TPB framework by introducing digital literacy as a perceived behavior control variable that helps to examine the role of employees in digital transformation. The paper ends with implications and limitations of our preliminary study, followed with suggestions for future studies.

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Dilek Cetindamar Kozanoglu
Dilek Cetindamar Kozanoglu

Dilek is an Associate Professor in the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT, where she leads the Digital Transformation Management research cluster, which focuses on the transformation of business and society through digital technology and innovations.