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Digital leadership: a systematic literature review and future research agenda

Qin Lin (School of Business, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 25 April 2024




In view of the increasing exploration and scattered literature on digital leadership, this study aims to clarify the concept, characteristics and structure of digital leadership, identify its focus research themes and further determine future research directions in this field.


A systematic literature review is adopted in this study using 53 academic documents published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, which comprehensively combs and analyzes the research achievements.


The key characteristics of digital leadership are vision motivation, digital empowerment, innovation and entrepreneurship, cross-boundary collaboration and dynamic adaptation. Digital strategic thinking, digital insight, digital change and digital talent development are the core dimensions of digital leadership. Besides, there are three main research topics: the application of digital leadership in certain contexts including school education, government governance and business management; the development of digital leadership scale within diverse contexts; and the effectiveness of digital leadership at the organizational, team and individual levels. Digital leadership has a positive role in organizational change and innovation, team effectiveness, and employee creativity and innovation behavior.


This study helps to clarify the connotation of digital leadership and its research progress, status and gaps, which contributes to the thorough knowledge system in the digital leadership area and the promising avenues for future research.



Lin, Q. (2024), "Digital leadership: a systematic literature review and future research agenda", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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