LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

K. Amann, T. Spiess, R. Bernsteiner, C. Ploder

MCI Management Center Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)
The modern business world is continuously changing due to digitalization. Automated processes are increasingly taking on routine work, while detailed data analysis offer new perspectives and approaches. With this transformation, business models, job profiles and corporate culture are changing. In order to manage the complex requirements of the digital development, a fundamental change in thinking of the top-level management is necessary.

Above all, it is the task of leaders to create a framework with the purpose that employees are able to operate successfully. These challenges associated with digitalization require leaders to acquire new or changed leadership skills. Therefore, the core of this work lies in the conception of leadership competencies, which will be increasingly important in the digital era. In order to analyze the shift of competencies in detail, theory and practice are compared by using specific questions as part of the qualitative method of the expert interviews. The results of the interviews carried out by eight leaders from various companies in Austria show that the tasks and changed requirements, triggered by the digital change, are also perceived in practice. The evaluation using deductive and inductive categories showed, that experts feel an increase in requirements for development. The further development of various fields of competence has to keep up with a rapidly evolving landscape of requirements. After all, in the digital era a variety of skills is necessary, of which the majority are social and expertise competencies. This work is intended to further initiate the change process and contribute to an understanding of which competencies will become more important in the future with the main purpose, that leaders can successfully support their employees in the digital era. This can in turn be used in order to design leadership and education programs for the future.