Chief Information Officer Role Effectiveness: Literature Review and Implications for Research and Practice

  • Alexander Hütter
  • René Riedl
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Information Systems book series (BRIEFSINORMAT)


The effectiveness of the chief information officer (CIO) in organizations is an important topic in the information systems literature because it affects IT success. Recent research is in agreement that an accurate understanding of CIO effectiveness is not possible without considering the organizational roles in which the CIO can operate. Despite the emerging research efforts in this field of study, an integrative perspective on CIO role effectiveness does not exist. To close this research gap, we review the literature in order to develop a set of organizational roles in which the contemporary CIO can act. These CIO roles are termed technology provider, strategic supporter, business thinker, innovation driver, integration advisor, and relationship manager. In consideration of these six CIO roles, we develop a model that comprises four antecedents of role effectiveness, which emerged from analysis of literature on CIO role effectiveness, namely (1) CIO personal competence, (2) CIO hierarchical position, (3) the management environment, and (4) the IT infrastructure of the organization in which the CIO operates. Altogether, our literature review synthesizes the results of highly fragmented work related to CIO role effectiveness reported in 98 studies published during the past three decades. Thereby, we contribute to the information systems literature. First, we integrate what is known about the scope and responsibilities of CIO organizational roles in the present management context. Second, based on our model, we guide research and practice by revealing how and why CIOs can achieve effectiveness in the six roles. Finally, we discuss limitations and potential avenues for future research.


Chief information officer (CIO) CIO effectiveness CIO organizational roles IT function IT leadership IT management Review Top management 



We would like to thank Dorothy Leidner and Guillermo Rodríguez Abitia, as well as seven anonymous reviewers for their work in providing guidance on ways to improve earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Hütter
    • 1
  • René Riedl
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.MIC Customs SolutionsLinzAustria
  2. 2.University of Applied Sciences Upper AustriaSteyrAustria
  3. 3.Department of Business Informatics — Information EngineeringUniversity of LinzLinzAustria

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