Leadership in the digital era: A review of who, what, when, where, and why

George C. Banks*, Shelley D. Dionne, Marianne Schmid Mast, Hiroki Sayama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Leadership as a social influence process has always involved a complex set of phenomena that demands an interdisciplinary lens. Leadership scholarship has now entered into a digital era. In a digital era, the overall phenomenon is changing, as are the tools through which we study it, demanding a new “lens” through which we view leadership. Yet, this raises the question, to what extent is leadership different in a digital era? In acknowledgement of this trend, a special issue was commissioned at The Leadership Quarterly that sought to stimulate the imagination of leadership scholars and practitioners. In the current work, we begin with a brief review of who, what, when, where and why of digital leadership. We cover leadership in informal contexts (e.g., social media), generalization from face-to-face to virtual contexts, computational modeling, the leveraging of technology (e.g., machine learning; Big Data), as well methodological how-to guides. We then plot a path forward for leadership scholars in the dawn of the digital era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101634
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • Big data
  • Computational modeling
  • Digital
  • Experiments
  • Leadership
  • Machine learning
  • Topic modeling
  • Virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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