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Leadership in the Digital and Social Era - A Theoretical Review and Digital Gamification for Employee Development

Balan, Aysegul Candan LU and Cavendish, Katie LU (2017) MGTN59 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore which skills and mindsets are necessary for successful leadership
in the digital era. It is written for IKEA who are interested in remaining at the forefront of their
industry by understanding how digitalisation affects their business and how to make the most of the
opportunities it brings, one aspect of which is leadership. There is a gap in the existing knowledge on
the topic of leadership in the digital era despite the amount research on the topics of digitalisation
and leadership individually. We intend for this paper to contribute towards filling the gap by looking
specifically at the intersection between the two areas.
The method we used to determine which skills are needed by leaders in the... (More)
The aim of this paper is to explore which skills and mindsets are necessary for successful leadership
in the digital era. It is written for IKEA who are interested in remaining at the forefront of their
industry by understanding how digitalisation affects their business and how to make the most of the
opportunities it brings, one aspect of which is leadership. There is a gap in the existing knowledge on
the topic of leadership in the digital era despite the amount research on the topics of digitalisation
and leadership individually. We intend for this paper to contribute towards filling the gap by looking
specifically at the intersection between the two areas.
The method we used to determine which skills are needed by leaders in the digital age was a review
of the existing academic literature together with non-academic sources to gain an understanding
from a real business context. We faced challenges relating to a lack of sufficient empirical studies on
the topic, as well as the importance of context to leadership, which limit our ability to make
normative conclusions about leadership skills necessary in the digital age.
The outcome of the literature review demonstrated that the ideas on leadership in the digital age
are mostly homogenous, and while many sources lack empirical backing, they are in agreement with
the opinions of business leaders. We identified four main categories of skills: communication,
dealing with change, learning and practical changes, as well as one mindset, the growth mindset.
There were two main themes throughout the review which we considered particularly important -
openness to learning, which comes from a growth mindset, and empowerment of employees.
We used this information as the basis of a game design which aims to help IKEA employees reflect on
the way they deal with some of the challenges presented by digitalisation. We produced two sets of
questions to be used as the starting point of a quiz game which can be expanded based on new
research or by adding new topics. The game is based on encouraging reflection rather than scoring
points due to the nature of our findings from the literature review, which are not conducive to
determining correct and incorrect answers.

Keywords: Digitalisation, Leadership, Skills, Mindset, Gamification (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Balan, Aysegul Candan LU and Cavendish, Katie LU
supervisor
organization
course
MGTN59 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
language
English
id
8915137
date added to LUP
2017-06-15 12:10:48
date last changed
2017-06-15 12:10:48
@misc{8915137,
  abstract     = {The aim of this paper is to explore which skills and mindsets are necessary for successful leadership
in the digital era. It is written for IKEA who are interested in remaining at the forefront of their
industry by understanding how digitalisation affects their business and how to make the most of the
opportunities it brings, one aspect of which is leadership. There is a gap in the existing knowledge on
the topic of leadership in the digital era despite the amount research on the topics of digitalisation
and leadership individually. We intend for this paper to contribute towards filling the gap by looking
specifically at the intersection between the two areas.
The method we used to determine which skills are needed by leaders in the digital age was a review
of the existing academic literature together with non-academic sources to gain an understanding
from a real business context. We faced challenges relating to a lack of sufficient empirical studies on
the topic, as well as the importance of context to leadership, which limit our ability to make
normative conclusions about leadership skills necessary in the digital age.
The outcome of the literature review demonstrated that the ideas on leadership in the digital age
are mostly homogenous, and while many sources lack empirical backing, they are in agreement with
the opinions of business leaders. We identified four main categories of skills: communication,
dealing with change, learning and practical changes, as well as one mindset, the growth mindset.
There were two main themes throughout the review which we considered particularly important -
openness to learning, which comes from a growth mindset, and empowerment of employees.
We used this information as the basis of a game design which aims to help IKEA employees reflect on
the way they deal with some of the challenges presented by digitalisation. We produced two sets of
questions to be used as the starting point of a quiz game which can be expanded based on new
research or by adding new topics. The game is based on encouraging reflection rather than scoring
points due to the nature of our findings from the literature review, which are not conducive to
determining correct and incorrect answers.

Keywords: Digitalisation, Leadership, Skills, Mindset, Gamification},
  author       = {Balan, Aysegul Candan and Cavendish, Katie},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Leadership in the Digital and Social Era - A Theoretical Review and Digital Gamification for Employee Development},
  year         = {2017},
}