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The Rise and Consolidation of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working: Opportunities,...


Marcello Mariani, University of Reading (UK),


Samuel Fosso Wamba, TBS Business School (France),

Sandro Castaldo, Bocconi University (Italy),

Gabriele Santoro, University of Turin (Italy),


Naveen Donthu, Georgia State University, USA,

Anders Gustafsson

, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway,


The emergence and development of digital technologies and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have brought about the advent and consolidation of remote working (Olson & Olson, 2000) and propelled the adoption of online remote work across many organizations (Daniels et al., 2001) and entrepreneurial activities (Nambisan, 2017). The confluence of two factors - digital technology development and the introduction of lockdown measures taken globally to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic - has dramatically accelerated the adoption and acceptance of digital platforms and technologies for remote working (Mariani & Castaldo, 2020). Many organizations in the private, public and non-profit sector have switched to online working, which is also the case for major decision-makers, including parliaments throughout the world. For instance, on April 22 the UK convened the first “Zoom-parliament”, turning a face-to-face meeting rooted in the tradition of British democracy into a virtual conference mediated by a digital platform. In addition, most of the universities worldwide have switched to online teaching for the majority of their courses, using the likes of MS Teams, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate and Canvas (Lau et al., 2020). To ride the remote working wave, financial companies have also developed Work-From-Home (WFH) ETFs (Hodgson & Wigglesworth, 2020).

While there are as many definitions of remote working as scholars who attempted to define it, a widely agreed upon description of the phenomenon entails any work arrangement conducted by an employee outside an allocated employer’s workspace and enabled by digital technologies (including hardware and software). Remote working can display different nuances: “teleworking” typically implies a continued use of technology while “telecommuting” involves keeping a traditional office and working from another place for 1 to 3 days a week.

Mirroring the increasing practical relevance of remote working, research on this economic and socio-cultural phenomenon has been consolidating over the last four decades as an area of flexible work practices research. Management scholars have been researching flexible work practices and remote working in particular in a number of subdisciplines and research domains (and deploying the related theoretical lenses) including psychology (Allen et al., 2015; Olson, 1983), organization (Scandura & Lankau, 1997; Skyrme, 1994; Spreitzer et al., 2017), sociology (Wellman et al., 1996) and information management/systems (Majchrzak et al., 2000).

However, a number of aspects related to the opportunities and challenges associated with the adoption and use of digital platforms and technologies for remote working, as well as the drivers, processes, and consequences of the adoption of such platforms, are underexplored.

As far as the drivers of acceptance and use of remote work platforms, not many studies have engaged with technology acceptance theories and models (Davis, 1989; Davis et al., 1989; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000) and acknowledged the role (and effect) of users’ trust and privacy concerns (Acquisti et al., 2015) in the adoption and use of digital platforms and technologies for remote work, except for studies looking generically at the adoption of cloud computing technologies (e.g., Arpachi et al., 2017; Song et al., 2020). For instance, Rocco (1998) found that cooperation is more effective when conversations happen face to face and/or the parties meet in person before the online interaction than when conversations happen only online. This suggests that trust is a key factor (Castaldo et al., 2010). In addition, privacy concerns in online settings (Acquisti et al., 2015; Acquisti & Gorsskalgs, 2005) are likely to play a role in the way individuals and organizations accept and engage with these platforms. For instance, online users might be inclined to give up their privacy in exchange for personalization - the so-called “privacy paradox” (Awad & Krishnan, 2006; Barth & de Jong, 2017; Xu et al., 2011) - of online services of the remote working platform.

In relation to processes and practices inherent in remote work and organizational practices (e.g., Metiu, 2006; Staples, 1999), it seems that the way individuals and organizations have impetuously and, in some cases, abruptly embraced remote working to make their work more flexible and more recently as a response to the Covid-19 emergency, might prompt research into organizational capabilities, online work practices orchestration, as well as learning curves at different levels (individual, organizational).

Last, while prior literature has only focused on several consequences of the use of digital platforms and technologies for remote work (e.g., Barsness et al., 2005; Fenner & Renn, 2010) and given the recent acceleration in the use of remote working platforms, the immediate economic, social and environmental consequences (at different levels) of the ongoing large-scale adoption of these platforms are largely unknown.

While the disciplinary perspectives adopted in the study of remote working entail many different disciplines, this Special Issue aims to offer a better understanding of the opportunities, challenges, drivers, processes, and consequences associated with digital platforms and technologies for remote working.

Against this background, we seek novel research on Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working making both a theoretical and practical contribution to the strategy, marketing, innovation management, entrepreneurship, and information management bodies of literature. We particularly welcome empirical studies adopting qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. An indicative list of topics is provided below.

Indicative list of topics

A partial and indicative listing of management topics that contributors may wish to address would include:

Antecedents of adoption of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingDrivers of acceptance of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working (including technological, social, demographic, and cultural drivers and factors)The role played by trust and privacy concerns in the adoption of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingUse behavior associated with Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingTrends of usage of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingProcesses and practices of use of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingDigital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working and digital transformation of work practicesValue creation, co-creation, and appropriation related to the use of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingDigital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working and performance (individual, organizational, inter-organizational)Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working and competitive advantage (individual, organizational, inter-organizational)Consequences of the use of Digital Platforms and Technologies for digital marketers and entrepreneursBusiness models underlying Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingDigital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working and interaction with other Industry 4.0 technologiesEconomic impacts of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote WorkingSustainability of Digital Platforms and Technologies for Remote Working


Acquisti, A. Brandimarte, L. and Loewenstein, G. (2015). Privacy and human behavior in the age of information, Science, 347 (6221), 509-514.

Acquisti, A. and Grossklags, J. (2005). Privacy and rationality in individual decision making,

IEEE security & privacy, 3 (1), 26-33.

Allen T.D., Golden T.D., Shockley K.M. (2015). How effective is telecommuting? Assessing the status of our scientific findings, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16(2), 40-68.

Arpaci, I. (2017). Antecedents and consequences of cloud computing adoption in education to achieve knowledge management. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 382–390.

Awad, N. F., Krishnan, M. S. (2006). The personalization privacy paradox: an empirical evaluation of information transparency and the willingness to be profiled online for personalization. MIS quarterly, 13-28.

Barsness, Z. I., Diekmann, K. A., & Seidel, M. D. L. (2005). Motivation and opportunity: The role of remote work, demographic dissimilarity, and social network centrality in impression management. Academy of Management Journal, 48(3), 401-419.

Barth, S., de Jong, M.D.T. (2017). The privacy paradox – Investigating discrepancies between expressed privacy concerns and actual online behavior – A systematic literature review, Telematics and Informatics, 34 (7): 1038–1058.

Cairncross, F. (1997). The death of distance: How the communications revolution will change our lives. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Castaldo, S., Premazzi, K., Zerbini, F. (2010). The meaning (s) of trust. A content analysis on the diverse conceptualizations of trust in scholarly research on business relationships, Journal of business ethics, 96 (4), 657-668.

Daniels K., Lamond D., Standen P. (2001). Teleworking: Frameworks for organizational research, Journal of Management Studies, 38 (8), 1151-1185.

Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology, MIS quarterly, 13 (3), 319-340.

Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P. and Warshaw, P. R. (1989). User Acceptance of Computer Technology: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Models, Management Science, 35 (8), 982-1003.

Fenner G.H., Renn R.W. (2010). Technology-assisted supplemental work and work-to-family conflict: The role of instrumentality beliefs, organizational expectations and time management, Human Relations, 63(1), 63-82.

Hodgson, C., & Wigglesworth, R. (2020). An ETF called WFH offers new way to ride remote working trend, Financial Times, 26.06.2020,

Lau, J., Yang, B., Dasgupta, R. (2020). To Zoom or not to Zoom? That is the question, Times Higher Education. Accessed from: on 6th of May 2020.

Majchrzak A., Rice R.E., Malhotra A., King N., Ba S. (2000). Technology adaptation: The case of a computer-supported inter-organizational virtual team, MIS Quarterly, 24(4), 569-600.

Mariani, M.M., Castaldo, S. (2020), “The consolidation of Digital Platforms for Remote Working (DP4ReW) after the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown: Antecedents of Acceptance, Privacy Concerns and Implications for Users, Employers and Policy makers”, working paper, Henley Business School, University of Reading.

Metiu A. (2006). Owning the code: Status closure in distributed groups, Organization Science, 17(4), 418-435.

Nambisan, S. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(6), 1029-1055.

Olson G.M., Olson J.S. (2000). Distance matters, Human-Computer Interaction, 139-178.

Olson, M. H. (1983). Remote office work: changing work patterns in space and time. Communications of the ACM, 26(3), 182-187.

Pérez, M. P., Sánchez, A. M., de Luis Carnicer, P., & Jiménez, M. J. V. (2004). A technology acceptance model of innovation adoption: the case of teleworking. European Journal of innovation management, 7(4), 280-291.

Rocco, E. (1998). Trust breaks down in electronic contexts but can be repaired by some initial face-to-face contact. Proceedings of the CHI’98 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 496–502. New York: ACM.

Scandura T.A., Lankau M.J. (1997). Relationships of gender, family responsibility and flexible work hours to organizational commitment and job satisfaction, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18 (4), 377-391.

Skyrme D.J. (1994). Flexible working: Building a lean and responsive organization, Long Range Planning, 27 (5), 98-110.

Song C.-H., Kim S.W., Sohn Y.-W. (2020). Acceptance of public cloud storage services in South Korea: A multi-group analysis, International Journal of Information Management, 51, April, 102035.

Spreitzer G.M., Cameron L., Garrett L. (2017). Alternative Work Arrangements: Two Images of the New World of Work, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 473-499.

Staples, D. S., Hulland, J. S., & Higgins, C. A. (1999). A self-efficacy theory explanation for the management of remote workers in virtual organizations. Organization Science, 10(6), 758-776.

Venkatesh, V., & Davis, F. D. (2000). A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: Four longitudinal field studies. Management Science, 46(2), 186-204.

Wellman B., Salaff J., Dimitrova D., Garton L., Gulia M., Haythorntkwaite C. (1996). Computer networks as social networks: Collaborative Work, Telework, and Virtual Community, Annual Review of Sociology, 213-238.

Xu H., Luo X., Carroll J.M., Rosson M.B. (2011). The personalization privacy paradox: An exploratory study of decision-making process for location-aware marketing, Decision Support Systems, 51(1), 42-52.

Submission procedure

Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the special issue managing guest editor Prof. Marcello Mariani ( regarding potential topics of interest or any questions/suggestions regarding the special issue to the SI editors. Upon submissions select the “VSI:Digital & Remote Working” article type.

Review process

Each paper submitted to this special issue will be subject to the following review procedures:

1. It will be reviewed by the guest editors for general suitability for this special issue.

2. If it is judged suitable, two reviewers will be selected for a rigorous double-blind review process.

3. Based on the recommendation of the reviewers, the guest editors and the Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the particular paper should be accepted as it is, revised and re-submitted, or rejected.


Open FULL paper submissions: 15 March 2021

FULL paper submissions: 15 August 2021

Revisions and decisions: 15 February 2022

Publication: Mid of 2022


Dr. Marcello Mariani is a Full Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Henley Business School, University of Reading (UK) and member of the Henley Center for Entrepreneurship and the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management. His current research interests include big data and analytics, eWOM, digital business models, AI, IoT, automation and coopetition strategies in service industries. His researches have been published in Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Advertising, Industrial and Corporate Change, Psychology & Marketing, Long Range Planning, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, European Accounting Review, Production Planning & Control, Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Studies in Management and Organizations, and more.

Dr. Sandro Castaldo is a Full Professor at Bocconi University (Italy) and former chair of the Marketing Department and Executive Education Open Market Division at SDA Bocconi School of Management. At Bocconi, he teaches MBA and MS courses. He has held visiting professor positions at the University of Florida, Florida State University, IESE, ESADE, Erasmus Rotterdam Business School, and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His current research interest is primarily multilevel trust and distribution channel relationships. He has authored articles published in the Journal of Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quartery, Industrial Marketing Management, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Journal of Retailing, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, and the Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services. He has authored more than ten books

Dr. Samuel Fosso Wamba is a Full Professor at Toulouse Business School. He earned his Ph.D. in industrial engineering at the Polytechnic School of Montreal, Canada. His current research focuses on business value of IT, inter-organizational systems adoption and use, supply chain management, electronic commerce, blockchain, artificial intelligence in business, social media, business analytics, big data and open data. He has published papers in top journals including: Academy of Management Journal, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Cleaner Production, Information Systems Frontiers, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Information Management, International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Business Research, Technology Forecasting and Social Change, Production Planning & Control, and Business Process Management Journal.

Dr. Gabriele Santoro is an Assistant Professor of Business Management at the Department of Management, University of Turin, Turin, Italy. Dr. Santoro has authored/coauthored several papers in international journals such as Technovation, Small Business Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Technology Transfer, Journal of Knowledge Management, and Journal of Business Research. He was the recipient of several research awards such as the Best Paper Award of the EuroMed/SIMA track at 11th EuroMed conference 2018, the Best Paper Award at the Sinergie-SIMA conference in 2018, and the Emerald/EMRBI Business Research Award for Emerging Researchers at the 10th EuroMed conference in 2017. He is currently an Associate Member (AM-EMAB) of the EuroMed Research Business Institute and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Intellectual Capital.