ECIS 2020 Research Papers


The literature assumes that the small and medium-sized enterprises enterprise (SMEs) depends on the (digital) skills of the chief executive officer (CEO). In this paper, we examine the influence of CEOs competencies regarding digital transformation of SMEs and show, based on explorative research, which competencies of CEOs are necessary for a successful digital transformation. We conducted five IT ex-pert interviews within the framework of the study to examine these influences. Subsequently, 20 CEOs of different SMEs were interviewed to discover their (digital) skills. The interview data showed that not only competencies are responsible for a successful digital transformation, but that the organization's Information Technology (IT)-Governance makes a significant difference. The interviews show that IT-Governance decisions are closely linked to the competencies of the CEOs. Based on the implicit and explicit competencies, interesting insights into the structuring behavior of the CEOs were gained. Es-pecially for CEOs with a good digital competence profile, some pitfalls became visible, which can only be avoided by IT-Governance measures. Access to IT knowledge became another decisive factor. Based on our findings, we propose IT-Governance strategies depending on CEOs competencies. This enables to implement IT-Governance structures which best suits CEOs individual level of competencies, giving insights of potential behavioral structures.



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