ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0340.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Digital Transformation; SME; Digital Orientation; Digital Capability; Financial Performance; Mediation Analysis
Online: 24 January 2022 (10:25:48 CET)
The COVID-19 crisis has emphasized the importance of digital transformation of SMEs and has served as an accelerator. Digital transformation empowers SMEs to rethink the way they make decisions and apply technology in meaningful and sustainable ways. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of digital transformation, fostered by COVID-19, and its potential contribution to the sustainability of SMEs. This paper examines a new conceptual framework designed on resource-based theory perspectives by using a survey data of 246 SMEs in Latvia and employing mediation analysis. The main findings of the study are that digital orientation and digital capability have direct positive effects on digital transformation; higher levels of digital orientation and capability, mediated by digital transformation, lead to higher revenue; as well as a more sophisticated business model in the case of digital orientation. Even if we cannot confirm that higher digital capability, mediated by digital transformation, leads to a more sophisticated business model, we found statistically significant direct effects from digital capability to digital transformation and from digital transformation to business model. These findings can be useful for policymakers, managers and practitioners to clarify how digital orientation, digital capability intermediated through digital transformation affect sustainability of SMEs.