From Intelligences Apart to Industry 5.0: How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact the Role of Leadership in the New Normal?

Hanna Kleinings & Delfina Aleksandra Szorc

Student thesis: Master thesis


Artificial Intelligence (AI) – an intelligent system that is able to encompass cognitive abilities – brings promise to the future of businesses and workplace, and has been the core driver for Industry 4.0. As a result of exponential developments in this techno-economic environment, businesses and society alike are experiencing a shift from putting technology in the forefront of the businesses, yet, working with “Intelligences apart” – towards the seamless integration of the human touch of business and intelligent systems – Industry 5.0. This new normal will create opportunities and challenges for the leadership of businesses, as well as academia.
A review on existing literature outlined significant gaps in the academic body of knowledge that take AI for what it is – a technological agency that does not operationalize statically and one that interacts within an organization and its actors. As such, following a mixed-method research design and grounding our conceptualizations in primary data collected through interviews with companies who are in the forefront of AI development and implementation, two assisting themes have been identified: processes, including decision-making and collaboration, and transparency, pertaining to among others, knowledge and trust.
Therefore, this thesis aims to advance the current research on the temporal changes in the role of leadership in the context of AI by investigating the role of AI in the organization; the effects this role has on organizational transparency; and what importance future workforce places on these. This interplay thus contributes to the field of leadership studies and provides guidelines for organizations in this new technological realm. The research suggest that in this shift towards Industry 5.0, it is more important than ever for leadership to know and understand the internal and external processes of the organization, embrace change and AI agency, develop soft skills concurrently with technical literacy and develop a mindset that allows leadership to frame problems in a multitude of settings – both cognitively and in stakeholder relations.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages136