Digital Leadership ‒ Mountain or Molehill? A Literature Review

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Despite the high relevance of digital leadership (DL) in practitioner outlets, its definition and determinants remain fuzzy, resulting in impeded DL theory development. Based on a structured literature review grounded in 96 publications, we developed a new definition of DL and a nomological determinant network. First, we provide conceptual clarity by differentiating DL from E-leadership with a definition of the former. Second, we present an inductively developed nomological network that specifies 13 DL determinants structured per the categories organizational level, individual level, and digital leader. Based on this network, we propose six future research areas, which are (1) theoretical clarity of DL as a concept, (2) measurement systems, (3) DL’s impact on output variables, (4) empirical evidence about determinants of the nomological network, (5) research design extensions through further perspectives and instruments, and (6) approaches to adopt DL.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation Through Information Systems : Volume III: A Collection of Latest Research on Management Issues
EditorsFrederik Ahlemann, Reinhard Schütte, Stefan Stieglitz
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-86799-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-86800-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventInternational Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik: Innovation through Information Systems - Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Essen, Germany
Duration: 09.03.202111.03.2021
Conference number: 16

    Research areas

  • Business informatics - Digital leadership, Digital transformation, Literature review, Organization transformation, Leadership 4.0