Socially Responsible Digital Leadership: A Framework For Digital Organizations

Monarch is happy to announce that the article by Dr. Volschenk, based on his PhD research at Monarch, is now included in the curriculum at RMIT in Australia. 

The Research

Purpose –In the digital era, the level of interdependencies and integration for the new work environment requires leadership in the digital era to develop and create long-term deliverables by challenging current leadership theories and models in the context of Digital Social Disequilibrium. The research paper examines the characteristics of a new Socially Responsible Digital Leadership (SRDL) framework that assists in explaining the influences and relationships of digital leadership, social leadership, social innovation and social capital on reaching a Digital Social Dynamic Equilibrium (DSDE).

Design/methodology/approach – The research uses an analytical strategy of the grounded theory method with a phenomenological approach that allows the use of both qualitative and quantitative data. The influence of digital innovation on people in organizations and society through a triangulation of three research domains, being: leadership, digital innovation and social justice, were examined.

Findings – Themes were uncovered relating to the nexus of information at the intersection of the three research domains of leadership, digital innovation and social justice, including the introduction of the bricolage of academic domains of digital leadership, social leadership and social innovation. The defined Socially Responsible Digital Leadership framework creates a holistic view from a (digital) organizational and societal perspective on how to reach Digital Social Dynamic Equilibrium. The influence of digital on people in organizations is the vertical dimension of the framework. Social capital is identified as a prominent societal force on the horizontal dimension of the influence of digital on people in society.

Originality/value – The conceptual framework developed from this research could be used by various stakeholders of digital leadership, to redesign or align company policies and strategies by incorporating the digital and societal forces to expedite efforts to reach Digital Social Dynamic Equilibrium. From a societal perspective, the people influenced by digital innovation can collectively use the framework as an advocacy tool to leverage more co-operation between digital organizations and the stakeholders in society to contribute to increased socio-economic value.

The Researcher

Dr. Francois Volschenk holds the position of Professor of Leadership Studies and Assistant Dean of the Faculty. Dr. Volschenk holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a DBA Degree as well as an M.Phil in Business Research from Monarch Business School. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Henley Business School (UK) and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce with distinction from the University of Pretoria. Dr. Volschenk has been a lecturer at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Dr. Volschenk returned to the academic field after a 20-year professional career in information technology, strategic thinking, product innovation, maintenance management and business consulting. He is passionate about the mentoring and coaching of people that enable individuals to grow in constant pursuit of their potential.