Digital innovation in law firms: The dominant logic under threat
Journal article, 2020

This paper focuses on the impact of digitalization in the legal industry. The legal industry is highly institutionalized and has for long been unaffected by external changes. This has enabled the development of a strong institutional logic that has dictated homogeneous practices in law firms and limited their room for innovation. However, this seems about to change. Through a qualitative case study of the Swedish legal industry, this paper shows that new practices, enabled by digitalization, challenges common practices and puts the dominant logic under threat. By applying an institutional logics perspective to recent changes, this paper contrasts the enactment of the dominant logic with innovative practices and shows that digitalization has created institutional complexity, where digital pioneers respond to digital opportunities differently than incumbents. This paper also explains why and highlights the emergence of hybrid firms that successfully combine elements of the dominant logic with innovation. Consequently, this paper contributes to our understanding of digital innovation and digital transformation within highly institutional industries.

digital innovation

institutional complexity

law firms

dominant logics


hybrid firms


Charlotta Kronblad

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Creativity and Innovation Management

0963-1690 (ISSN) 1467-8691 (eISSN)

Vol. 29 3 512-527

Subject Categories

Work Sciences

Economic Geography

Applied Psychology

Business Administration

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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