Document Type


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Computer Sciences

Publication Details

Business Horizons, vol. 67, no. 4. © 2024 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Digital Transformation (DT) is more than simply integrating a new digital technology into the organization. Despite a growing volume of research, however, there is little coverage of the characteristics of DT leadership. Using a grounded approach, where 16 practitioner voices are central to the theorizing output, we present 10 DT leadership characteristics. Each characteristic links what action a DT leader needs to take and how a DT leader enables that action. We also asked 30 DT leaders to evaluate the importance of each of the 10 DT leadership characteristics. Our approach strengthens the relevance for practitioners striving for the best possible DT initiative outcome. For example, prefacing each DT leadership characteristic with “Are we…?” Encourages DT leaders to guide conversations with organizational stakeholders by reflecting on the realities of their DT initiative and highlighting potential gaps in their organizational thinking.