Published : 2022-12-30

Digital leadership at universities – a systematic literature review


The environment in which organisations (including universities) operate is increasingly enforcing digital transformation, the success of which depends not only on the technology to be implemented but also – and in particular – on the human factor. Leaders play a major role in guiding the organisation through the change process. This article attempts to synthesise researchers’ scientific pursuits to date when it comes to digital leadership at universities. The purpose of this work is to evaluate and synthesise the published literature referring to digital leadership at universities and to identify future directions for research on academic digital leadership. A systematic review of the literature was conducted in order to identify the state of the art and to integrate and synthesise the existing body of literature on this topic. The research was undertaken based on two main databases: Scopus and Web of Science. In line with the selection stages and criteria adopted, 20 articles were subjected to the final analysis. Keyword mapping was carried out as part of the review, which made it possible to create three clusters. The first cluster combines leadership with the area of digital competence building, the second cluster focuses around digital transformation at universities, and the third cluster is related to digital leadership, namely the characteristics of digital leaders. The results of the analysis combined with the rapidly increasing popularity of topics related to digital transformation in its broadest sense demonstrate that the contemplated research field is in the early growth phase and requires further exploration.


digital leadership, university, e-leadership, higher education, digital transformation, systematic review





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Ratajczak, S. (2022). Digital leadership at universities – a systematic literature review. Forum Scientiae Oeconomia, 10(4), 133–150.

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