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Abstract

Research on the importance of the chief information officer (CIO) in organizations has received significant attention in the information systems (IS) literature over the past decades. However, research has insufficiently examined mutual trust between the CIO and other top managers, particularly the chief executive officer (CEO), which is problematic because trust is fundamental for all forms of cooperative behavior, which, in turn, determines the success of groups and organizations. Against the background of this significant research deficit, we report on an exploratory interview study that is part of a larger research project in which we investigate CIO-CEO interaction patterns. We report the trust-specific results of this project, based on 24 interviews (the CIO and CEO in twelve Austrian organizations). Our results reveal crucial mechanisms through which mutual trust emerges in CIO-CEO interactions, and we summarize our results in a conceptual framework. We embed findings of this study in a larger theoretical context; specifically, we establish a link to social capital theory, self-determination theory, and network gatekeeping theory.

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