This chapter examines the emerging literature on contemporary leadership, particularly leadership in the digital age, digital leadership, e-leadership, and cyber leadership, in the context of socio-cultural changes, theoretical shifts in leadership studies, and leadership education changes observed in the United States in the last two decades. Although the above literature shows a shift from leader-centered and hierarchical to follower-centered and relational leadership, it is not clear how the old may yield to the new paradigm of leadership. There seem to be no discussion in the leadership literature on how to transition from pre-digital to digital era of leadership. While this study acknowledges the discontinuity and tension between the contemporary and the traditional leadership approaches, it offers theoretical and practical alternatives for transitioning from traditional to contemporary leadership in the digital age. Since leadership research has already shifted from single-role identity to multiple-role identities, which enables individuals to acquire and master both leading and following skills in today’s organizations, this study is optimistic that the leader-follower trade (LFT) or similar approaches may build bridges between digital native and digital immigrant generations of leader-followers for a smoother transition from hierarchical to distributed, shared, collective, and adaptive leadership for the digital age.
Part of the book: Digital Leadership