call for papers: Information Technology and Customization Strategies in the Digital Economy

Call for Papers

Title: Information Technology and Customization Strategies in the Digital Economy

Short title (VSI): Technology & Customization

Background and Motivations

Customers’ preferences and needs are changing surprisingly fast in the digital economy (Kotler et al., 2016). Emerging information technologies (e.g., mobile apps, voice technology, virtual reality) are empowering individual customers to have mounting knowledge, flexibility, and engagement in business practice (Araujo et al., 2020; Zhang & Chang, 2020). As such, how to better fulfill customer value creation and delivery is becoming increasingly important (Kostis & Ritala, 2020; Van Le & Suh, 2019), and is an immutable source for firms’ competitive advantage.

Firms have been increasingly emphasizing and advancing customization strategies to enhance their ability to fulfill personalized customer demands (Wind & Rangaswamy, 2001). However, due to the paramount role in collecting, analyzing, and understanding customer needs (Selladurai, 2004), integrating and optimizing supply chains (Schniederjans et al., 2020), and delivering agile products/services (Shams et al., 2020), information technology has always been a critical constraint in the customization process (Zipkin, 2001). Amid the digital age, many new information technologies (e.g., Big data analytics, Cloud computing) are surfacing and being adopted in business decision-making (Kohtamäki et al., 2020; Nieuwenhuis et al., 2018). The emergence of those disruptive digital technologies has ushered in new opportunities and challenges for firms to formulate and implement effective and innovative customization strategies (Deradjat & Minshall, 2017). For instance, better data collection, data analysis, and system design and iteration (Ghobakhloo, 2020; McAfee et al., 2012) are enabling and galvanizing firms to innovate their customization strategies in the digital economy.

Although customization strategies can improve firms’ performance by meeting the heterogeneous demands of customers, they also increase the cost of value creation and delivery, which reflects a paradoxical trade-off of “benefits-costs” (Wang et al., 2017; Wiengarten et al., 2017). Many previous studies have shed light on how to deal with this tension from a variety of theoretical perspectives (Liu & Yao, 2018; Yao, 2013). However, scant studies have explicitly explored and synthesize how new IT artifacts affect customization strategies, especially in the digital age, despite the role of IT has become increasingly significant nowadays (Ballestar et al., 2020). Therefore, it is imperative to gather the knowledge of the relationship between IT and innovative customization strategies, and to examine how the new digitized IT artifacts influence the revenue and cost of firms’ customization strategies in the digital economy.

Furthermore, digitized information technologies have also been driving firms to innovate their customization modes, such as personalized customization based on AI (Robinson et al., 2020), mobile-based customization (Tong et al., 2020), etc. However, digitized information technology also brings new challenges to the customization practice of firms, such as privacy leakage and data discrimination (Caputo et al., 2018; Okazaki et al., 2020). So it is also important to explore how firms can take full advantage of those new information technologies and avoid such kinds of negative effects at the same time.

Thus, as the way of customer participation in customization continues to evolve and firms keep improving their customization capabilities, it is necessary for future studies to deeply explore the potential various “revenue” and “cost” mechanisms from the perspective of information technologies in the digital economy.

Objective and topics

This Special Issue seeks state-of-the-art papers that take a broad view of information technology’s current and future impact on firm’s customization strategies and customer participation in customization. We also invite studies drawing on data from real-world settings that take a future-looking perspective to formulate new research paths and pragmatic applications for consumers and businesses. Papers considered for the Special Issue may focus on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

• Digital information technology adoption for innovative customization strategies

• Technological drivers that facilitate customization strategies

• Digital capabilities and the formulation and implementation of customization strategies

• Comparison of new customization strategies/ modes in the digital era

• The interconnections between information technologies and “revenue vs. cost” dilemma of customization

• Interaction and value co-creation between firms and customers in the digital customization platforms

• Customer empowerment and value co-creation in the customization practice

• The personalization experience–privacy paradox in the digital era

Paper Submission

• Submissions should be prepared using the Technological Forecasting & Social Change (TFSC) Manuscript Preparation Guidelines (

• Manuscripts must be submitted electronically online at

• Authors need to select ‘SI – Information Technology and Customization Strategies’ for this call.

• Papers will be reviewed according to the TFSC double-blind review process

• Informal inquiries relating to the Special Issue, proposed topics and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives are welcomed. Please direct any questions to the Guest Editors.

All submissions entailing empirical research are encouraged to provide complete methodological and other details in accompanying web appendices.

Important dates

The timeline of this special issue is as follows:

Submission start date: July 15, 2022

Last date for submission: August 30, 2022

Review process: On a rolling basis from September 2022 to April 2023

Possible Acceptance Date: May 30, 2023

For more details, click here

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