Leadership Competencies for Digital Transformation

Leadership Competencies for Digital Transformation

Nada Megahed
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5864-8.ch005
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Leadership competencies are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that leaders must possess to perform their jobs proficiently. The current existing literature on leadership competencies is mainly focusing on “generic” competencies, such as: accountability, managing diversity, delegation, and decision making. Such competencies are no doubt important, yet, in the era of the digital transformation (DT), organizations require revolutionary changes to sustain themselves and remain competitive. The key drivers behind those changes might be surging customer expectations, engaging people with digital transformation, facing unprecedented competition, or even coping with exponential technological development. Those changes call for strong leadership at the helm to lead this digital transformation impactfully, however, leadership competencies required to lead DT are still unclear. Does classical leadership competencies holds true for those leaders who are leading digital transformation? Are those competencies enough to lead DT initiatives in organizations? This chapter seeks to answer those questions.
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The terms digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation are often used as synonyms when referring to an organization’s evolution into the digital era. Digitization, is the act of changing a process from analogue to digital while maintaining the process itself. In comparison, digitalization is the process of moving to a digital business model and generating new revenue streams by leveraging digital technologies. Digital transformation refers generally to any change related to transformation to the digital age, and thus broadly represent both digitization and digitalization.

Digital transformation (DT) can be defined as “the reinvention of a company’s vision, organizational structure, strategy, processes, capabilities, and culture to match the evolving digital business context” (Dunkle & Gurbaxani, 2019). It is also defined by Vial as “a process that aims to improve an entity by triggering significant changes to its properties through combinations of information, computing, communication, and connectivity technologies” (2019, 3).

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