Holistic Digital Leadership and 20 Factors Relevant for its Understanding and Implementation


  • Denis Imhof University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW
  • Prof. Dr. Stella Gatziu Grivas University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW




Organizations today face challenges like changing organizational structures and value chains, participation in digital eco-systems or fast changing customer expectations. Digital Leadership aims to guide the necessary transformation to overcome these challenges. Thereby a holistic viewpoint is needed since the challenges and conditions concern organizations as a whole. They are not limited to single managers, departments or even the organization’s system boundaries. Digital Leadership is a relatively new and well discussed research topic but yet only vaguely defined and understood. This exploratory research contributes to the exploration, understanding and development of Digital Leadership with the elaboration, based on the review of existing literature, of a holistic definition of Digital Leadership, and the proposal, based on semi-structured qualitative expert interviews, of 20 interdependent and mutually influencing Digital Leadership factors within four main areas of Digital Leadership. These 20 factors are relevant for successful and sustainable holistic Digital Leadership and offer a deeper understanding of Digital Leadership. Furthermore, they provide guidance for the implementation and improvement of Digital Leadership for organizations facing the challenges and conditions of the digital age.