Abstract: "Symbiosis", as an important emerging paradigm of organization and management research, provides a promising theoretical perspective to explain the interdependence between multiple organizations and multiple activities. Currently, the rise of digitization has reconstructed the interactive dependence of organizations and their activities, triggering the rethinking of the paradigm of organization symbiosis. Accordingly, the research focuses on how digitalization matters to the organizational symbiosis, based on the case study of the digital operations and businesses of the Tencent's Work WeChat organization for enterprise customers.The study systematically discusses and analyzes how Work WeChat enables the digital business practices of customer enterprises in the contexts of intra-organization, industrial value chain and partnership, and interactions with key customers and users. Accordingly, it constructs and proposes a "connected symbiosis" research paradigm based on the organization's digital context, which does contribution to both organization and management academic research and managerial implications for industrial practitioners.The study indicates that: First, the organization's connected symbiosis in the digital context is mainly based on the symbiosis unit of messages. In the case of Work WeChat, the symbiosis units like WeChat message, WeChat mini program, and so on, facilitate the efficient intercommunication among symbiotic agents within and across the organizational boundary, so as to realizing the value creation of products and services for end users in the digital context;Second, relying on the digital symbiosis environment, the organizations embracing the digitalization do achieve the efficient and effective organizational management symbiosis, involving work management synergy upon intra-organizational resource elements' symbiosis, the symbiosis of industrial value chains and collaborative partners, and the symbiosis between the focal organization and its target and potential large amount of users in WeChat;Third, as a reflection of connected symbiosis, elements involving mobile and digital platform, digital API interface management, human-robot synergy, digital resource, provide fundamental supports for enterprises adopting the connected symbiosis.In addition, the study argues and highlights that the connected symbiosis help to extend the boundary of the "symbiosis" construct from the traditional meso-level inter-organizational analysis to the micro-level intra-organizational groups and individuals, and the macro-level mega organizational ecology; moreover, the basic mechanism to achieve the connected symbiosis refers to the intra- and inter-organizational synergy, and the synergy between the focal organization and its relevant users in the digital context.The study contributes to the organizational symbiosis literature by constructing the concept "Connected Symbiosis", on the basis of diverse organizational digital contexts including intra-organizational context, organizational industrial context, and organizational users' context. It further provides practical managerial implications for organizational operations and businesses in the context of digitalization, particularly benefiting the Chinese traditional enterprises for their management activities on digital transformation.
Key words: digitalization; organizational symbiosis; connected symbiosis; Work WeChat