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The role of leadership and employee well-being in digital business develpoment Reser 2016
THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE WELL-
BEING IN ORGANISATIONAL DIGITALISATION
Riitta-Liisa Larjovuori ,Laura Bordi, Jaana-Piia Mäkiniemi and Kirsi Heikkilä-Tammi.
University of Tampere,School of Management
THE CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH
USCO (Using digital co-creation for business development) –project
conducted by Laurea - University of Applied Sciences and University of Tampere,
School on Management in 2016-2018.
• How digital business development in Finnish organisations could be
supported and accelerated by co-creation with both employees and
• How can co-creational practices and employee attitutes and behaviours
be enhanced by leadership and organizational culture?
Co-funded by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and
Innovation) and eight Finnish organisations (including SME’s, large
companies and two public sectors organisations)
THE PURPOSE OF THE PAPER
To create a theoretical framework for
• understanding and exploring the role of leadership and employee
well-being in the context of organisatinal digitalisation
• Understanding and exlpoing how organisational digitalisation
could be measured and operationalised
To structure and guide the following empirical study (an employee-
survey for 8 organisations conducted twice during the project)
The emerging framework for exploring the
connections between leadership, employee well-
being and organisational digitalisation
THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN DIGITAL
Strategic leadership of digitalisation
the leaders’ ability to create a clear and
meaningful vision for the digitalisation process
and the capability to execute strategies to
actualize it. Moreover, it is assumed that digital
leadership implies the capability to involve all
members of the organisation in the
digitalisation process, as well as to recognize
and to develop the skills and abilities needed
to carry it through.
Example items (modified from Westerman et.
The IT unit’s performance meets the needs of
The company is investing in the necessary
“demonstrated by empowering and developing people;
e.g. by expressing humility, authenticity, interpersonal
acceptance, and stewardship and by providing direction
to followers (Mittal & Dorfman 2012).”
Good and especially so called servant leadership during
organisational change was linked with more positive
employee experiences (Hakanen, Harju, Seppälä,
Laaksonen, & Pahkin, 2012).
Under uncertain circumstances servant leadership was
associated with experiences of work engagement (de
Sousa & van Dierendonck, 2014).
Example items (van Dierendonck):
My manager encourages me to use my talents.
My manager keeps himself/herself in the background
and gives credits to others.
THE ROLE OF EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING
Techno-work engagement is a novel
concept, describing a positive
motivational state towards the use of
technology at work
Modified from the concept of work
engagement (Schaufeli & Bakker,
I am enthusiastic about using
technology in my job.
When I’m working with technology, I
always preserve, even when things
do not go well.
Technostress is a form of work
stress associated with the use of
ICTs at work or the threat and
fear of having to use it in the
Example items (Ragu-Nathan et
I have higher workload because
of increased technology
complexity. I feel tense and
anxious when I work with ICT.
A digitally mature organization:
“an organisation where digital has transformed processes, talent
engagement and business models”. (Kane et al. 2015)
Our definition: the organisation’s capability to recognize and utilize the
business opportunities provided by the development of digital technology
and the capability to carry out strategies to execute the vision.
My organization has a clear and coherent digital strategy
I am confident in my organization’s readiness to respond to digital trends.
The use of digital technologies in e.g. customer service, co-operation etc.
DIGITAL MATURITY OF THE ORGANISATION
INTERESTING QUESTIONS FOR THE
• How will the novel concept of technology-related work-
engagement work and how does it corralate with other variables?
• How will the measures of organisation’s digital maturity and digital
leadership work in empirical data?
• To what extent do the organizational prerequistites for succesfull
digitalisation vary from one organisation to other?
• To what extent do the judgements of e.g. digital maturity of
strategic leadership of the digitalisation differ between diffenent
organisational levels? Do e.g. managers judge the organisation’s
state more positively than lay-workers?
Kane, G. C., Palmer, D., Phillips, A. N., Kiron, D., & Buckley, N. (2015). Strategy, not technology, drives digital
transformation. MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte University Press.
Kræmmergaard, P., El Sawy, O., Amsinck, H., & Anders, V. (2015). Building the foundations and enterprise
capabilities for digital leadership: The Lego experience. 2015 Society for Information Management.
RaguNathan, T. S., Tarafdar, M., RaguNathan, B. S., & Tu, Q. (2008). The consequences of technostress for end
users in organisations: Conceptual development and empirical validation. Information Systems Research 19(4),
Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., González-Romá, V., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). The measurement of engagement and
burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness studies, 3(1), 71-92.
van Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of management, 37(4), 1228-
van Dierendonck, D., & Nuijten, I. (2011). The servant leadership survey: Development and validation of a
multidimensional measure. Journal of business and psychology, 26(3), 249-267.
Westerman, G., Bonnet, D., & McAfee, A. (2014). Leading digital: Turning technology into business transformation.
Harvard Business Press.
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