Social Sustainability of Digital Transformation: Empirical Evidence from EU-27 Countries
In the EU-27 countries, the importance of social sustainability of digital transformation (SOSDIT) is heightened by the need to balance economic growth with social cohesion. By prioritizing SOSDIT, the EU can ensure that its citizens are not left behind in the digital transformation process and that technology serves the needs of all Europeans. Therefore, the current study aimed firstly to evaluate the SOSDIT of EU-27 countries and then to model its importance in reaching sustainable development goals (SDGs). The current study, using structural equation modeling, provided quantitative empirical evidence that digital transformation in Finland, the Netherlands, and Denmark are respectively most socially sustainable. It is also found that SOSDIT leads the countries to have a higher performance in reaching SDGs. Finally, the study provided evidence implying the inverse relationship between the Gini coefficient and reaching SDGs. In other words, the higher the Gini coefficient of a country, the lower its performance in reaching SDGs. The findings of this study contribute to the literature of sustainability and digitalization. It also provides empirical evidence regarding the SOSDIT level of EU-27 countries that can be a foundation for the development of policies to improve the sustainability of digital transformation. According to the findings, this study provides practical recommendations for countries to ensure that their digital transformation is sustainable and has a positive impact on society.
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