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Abstract

This study is on the role of chief executive officers (CEOs) of large nondotcom companies undergoing major information technology (IT) induced organizational changes. Interviews were conducted with Australian CEOs to determine their perception of their role in IT induced organizational change. Two questions that this study answers are: How did CEOs provide leadership when dealing with issues beyond their area of technical expertise? How did CEOs perceive they influenced the effective use of IT? It was found that while the CEOs acknowledged their relatively low level of IT expertise, they felt they achieved technological leadership in the organization by providing the context for IT development. The activities they engaged in to provide such contexts were analyzed in terms of Mintzberg’s managerial roles. The roles of the CEO were found to correspond with the managerial roles of Disseminator, Disturbance Handler and Resource Allocator. This has implications for the way IT managers in organizations interact with their CEOs, and for the role of CEOs in IT related issues.

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