A perfect match or an arranged marriage? How chief digital officers and chief information officers perceive their relationship: a dyadic research design
Publication typeVlerick strategic journal article
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractSeveral organisations have introduced a new leadership role, the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), as a centralised role in their top management team (TMT), tasked with accelerating and coordinating their digital transformation. While previous research proposes a complementary, tight alignment between the CDO and the Chief Information Officer (CIO), role redundancies and the fight for recognition and resources also suggest an inherent tension. We provide insights into the CIO-CDO collaboration quality based on role, TMT cooperation, conflict theory, and a dyadic design approach of 11 CIO-CDO relationships with 33 expert interviews in two waves. Our findings indicate that the CIO-CDO relationship may not always be as complementary as proposed in the literature; instead, in the vast majority of our dyads, there is too much role conflict to achieve tight alignment, leading to separation behaviour between the roles. We identify the involvement in the introduction of the other role, the CIO demand-side orientation, and the CDO supply-side orientation as important contingency factors determining the quality of the CIO-CDO relationship. Finally, unless the CIO-CDO relationship resembles a perfect match, a unified Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) role may better resolve the challenges we identify in our sample’s dyads. Our insights extend the understanding of the CIO-CDO relationship.
Knowledge Domain/IndustryDigital Transformation
Operations & Supply Chain Management