Timbuk3’s 1986 hit ‘The Future ‘s so bright, I gotta wear shades’ is perhaps an odd starting point for a book review in Organization Studies, but its reception marks a curious point; what was intended as a song about an impeding nuclear armageddon was interpreted as an optimistic gradu- ation theme song heralding a cheerful future. And indeed, tangential with the substance of the book at hand, it seems that as societies we enjoy an unstable relationship with our fears; be this the nuclear armageddon of the 1980s, the more contemporary climate warming or the currently strongly resurfacing artificial intelligence debate. Resonating with Bartunek (2018), Leodolter’s Digital Transformation is at first an unlikely volume to find its way into the pages of this journal; it is not seeking a dialogue with what we would consider contemporary anglo-saxonized organiza- tion theory. Instead, it charges between perspectives in a rather cavalier manner and it does not make an amazing eyebrow-furring companion for your choice indulgence on a stormy night. But despite its eclectic allowances the book attempts something quite brave; in a discourse dominated by distinctly aggrandized narratives about the, depending on your preference, soon-to-arrive artifi- cial intelligence dystopia or utopia, Leodolter attempts to guide his pen somewhere between the extremes and examine the question of the digital transformation confronting both the modern organization and its managers with at least a modicum of pragmatism.
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