Leading in the Digital Age

EEU411 Leading in the Digital Age

Autumn 2023

  • Topics

    Digital transformation implies an extensive organizational change driven and ena-bled by digital technologies. This could involve changes to the organization’s busi-ness processes, business model, or even a new organizational identity. Such organ-izational change affects employees in different ways and prompts changes to both leadership approaches and leadership roles, which we address in this module.

    The course consists of four main overarching topics:

    1. Digital concepts and technologies

    2. Digital trends

    3. the Digital leader

    4. the Digital organization

    The first day, we will uncover what we mean by phenomena such as digitization, digitalization, digital innovation, and digital transformation. We will discuss charac-teristics of digital technology and look at different examples of how digital technolo-gies could affect the way business is conducted.

    The second day, we will look at different "digital" trends, e.g., trends that drive changes in business models and are enabled by digital technologies, such as digi-tal platform ecosystems, sharing economy, and sustainability.

    The third day, we will discuss what it implies to be a "digital leader", including leader attributes and new leader roles, as well as topics related to the responsibilities of the digital leader, such as developing a digital strategy and ensuring the organization’s digital maturity.

    The fourth day, we look at how digital transformation changes work design and leadership and discuss how employees might be affected in terms of competency requirements and digital technology adoption.

    Course Objectives

    • The course provides students with knowledge and perspectives on what digi-tal transformation implies and how such organizational change prompts changes to leader roles and leadership practice.

    • After this course,

    o students can demonstrate knowledge of relevant and recent research on digital transformation

    o students are familiar with emerging digital technologies and digital technology-enabled trends, and can analyze how these might enable organizational change

    o students understand how digital transformation might affect employees in the organization, and how managers might support the employees during and after the digital transformation process

    o students have the knowledge and skills to analyze an organization’s current digital maturity and suggest measures leaders can take to in-crease the digital maturity

    o students understand which leader attributes and leader roles are im-portant for managing in a digital age

  • Learning outcome

  • Assessment

    Participants’ grade will be composed of:

    • 50% Individual participation (individual grade)

    • 50% Group-based term paper (group grade)

    Individual participation (50%)

    50 % of the grade will be based on the student’s active individual and active participation in the course. This includes the student’s presence, participation in plenary and group discussions during the course, and sharing of own reflection.

    Group-based term paper (50%)

    50% of the grade will be based on a term paper written in groups, where the students can choose from different alternative assignments, based on the topics addressed and literature presented in the course. The details of the term paper and due date will be announced during the course.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Mandatory Readings:

    - Osmundsen, K., Iden, J., & Bygstad B. (2018) Digital transformation: Drivers, success factors, and implications. The 12th Mediterranean Conference on In-formation Systems (MCIS), Corfu, Greece, 2018

    - Schwarzmüller, T., Brosi, P., Duman, D., & Welpe, I. M. (2018). How does the digital transformation affect organizations? Key themes of change in work design and leadership. Management Revue, 29(2), 114-138.

    - von Ohain, B. P. (2019). Leader attributes for successful digital transfor-mation. International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2019 Pro-ceedings.

    - Singh, A., & Hess, T. (2017). How Chief Digital Officers Promote the Digital Transformation of their Companies. MIS Quarterly Executive, 16(1), 5.

    Complementary Readings:

    - Westerman, G., Tannou, M, Bonnet, D., Ferraris, P., & McAfee, A. (2012). The digital advantage: How digital leaders outperform their peers in every industry. MIT Sloan Management / Capgemini Consulting

    - Danilova, K., Iden, J., & Bygstad, B. (2022). Chief Digital Officers' Evolving Strategies: Balancing Lightweight and Heavyweight IT During the Digital Transformation. HICSS 2022

    - Osmundsen, K., Iden, J., & Bygstad B. (2019) Organizing Robotic Process Au-tomation: Balancing Loose and Tight Coupling. HICSS 2019

    - Osmundsen, K. (2020) Competences for Digital Transformation: Insights from the Norwegian Energy Sector. HICSS 2020

    - Bygstad, B., Iden, J., & Ulfsten, A. (2020). Digital Business Strategies for In-cumbent Firms. How a Scandinavian hotel chain competes with the internet giants. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 32(2), 77-106

    - Meske, C., Osmundsen, K., Junglas, I. (2021) Designing and implementing digital twins in the energy grid sector. MIS Quarterly Executive, 20(3)

    - Gerwe, O., & Silva, R. (2020). Clarifying the sharing economy: Conceptualiza-tion, typology, antecedents, and effects. Academy of Management Perspec-tives, 34(1), 65-96.

    - Van Alstyne, M. W., Parker, G. G., & Choudary, S. P. (2016). Pipelines, plat-forms, and the new rules of strategy. Harvard business review, 94(4), 54-62.

    - Costabile, C., Iden, J., & Bygstad, B. (2022). Building digital platform ecosys-tems through standardization: an institutional work approach. Electronic Mar-kets, 1-13 


ECTS Credits