Digital Enablement

Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN) is a major initiative focused on the impact of digital technology on businesses, the economy, and society. DERN harnesses the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills at UNSW Business School, and complements them with the resources and knowledge of an elite group of academic and industry partners, both in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, and globally, to focus on the enablement of digital innovation and transformation.

With the growing significance and pervasiveness of digital technology in contemporary society, the emphasis of both academia and industry in digital technology-related fields has shifted to understanding the nature and implications of “digital enablement”, which refers to the consumerizational and transformational roles of digital technology in driving business and social innovation.

Consumerizational Effect of Technology

Consumerizational Effect of Technology (CET) focuses on understanding consumer usage of technologies and developing insights into the impact of technologies on social and economic behaviors of individuals, organizations, and businesses. Increasingly, the consumerization of technologies has facilitated the creation and dissemination of user-generated content, which is instrumental in developing better insights into consumer opinions and sentiments. However, the usage of technologies can at times be hampered by unexpected problems, such as privacy issues, security risks, and techno-stress. Hence, it is particularly important to understand how to best deploy technologies to facilitate consumer interactions, while at the same time, overcome the challenges associated with technology usage.

Transformational Effect of Technology

The transformational effect of technology (TET) is significant and far reaching as it drives efficiency, innovation, and inclusion. Technology and business experts and commentators have been paying close attention to how digital technology supports, enables, and influences the effectiveness and competitiveness of enterprises, from social networking use in work practices to the Internet of Things in production. At the same time, existing business landscape, industry, and economy are disrupted with the innovative use of technology, which is evident in the rise of digitally enabled sharing economy underpinned by the burgeoning prosperity of the massive open online courses, and companies like AirBnB, and Uber and the rise of Fintech. In marginalised communities and developing world, application of technology such as mobile payment in Kenya and the e-commerce in China’s Taobao Village, also promise new benefits to the socio-economic improvement and an inclusive development.

Network leaders

Network members

Prof Patrick Finnegan

Dr Songting Dong

Dr Veronica Jiang

Dr Sam Kirshner

Highlight achievements

  • Seven network members have a total of 37 different A*/FT45 publications since 2011, including in MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, and Journal of the Association for Information Systems.
  • Average m-quotient of 1.1.
  • ARC and other grant awards totalling more than $2.5 million (Finnegan).
  • Pan is current/former Associate Editor of MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Information & Management, and the European Journal of Information Systems. Finnegan is Senior Editor of Information Systems Journal.
  • Finnegan was awarded the 2011 Stafford Beer medal for the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory, or practice of information systems and/or knowledge management published in the European Journal of Information Systems or Knowledge Management Research & Practice.
upcoming research events
Find out more