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Abstract

Technology is the driving force behind many of today’s new products, services, and cost-cutting measures. However, there are gaps in our understanding about how technological innovation is fostered and nurtured in organizations. Part of the answer is to examine how Chief Information Officers (CIOs) exercise influence regarding technological innovation in organizations. This is particularly important since the CIO is the head of technology in organizations, an important source of technological innovation. This article draws on an established executive influence framework to demonstrate how Irish CIOs are able to solidify Information Technology’s (IT’s) contribution to technological innovation via relational means. Most of the CIOs in our study were able to successfully influence other executives to support these innovations which led to better IT-business alignment. However, other CIOs in our study were unsuccessful at influencing executives, which increased the disconnection between the CIO and the executive. Building on this study, we suggest significant practices and behaviors that CIOs can use to successfully influence other executives regarding technological innovations. CIOs must recognize that the relational side of technology alignment should be leveraged for them to successfully manage their contribution to technological innovation.

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