Academic journal article Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations

The Chief Information Officer: A Review of the Role

Academic journal article Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations

The Chief Information Officer: A Review of the Role

Article excerpt


The establishment of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role suggests that senior management formally recognize that information is a valuable resource and must be managed at a senior level within the organization. However, currently, there is a very high turnover in those individuals who fill the CIO position. Capella (2006) suggests the turnover rate of CIOs is twice that of Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and Chief Executive Officers (CEO). It might be related to an unclear definition of duties. Perhaps performance evaluation factors may not be specific or agreed upon by senior management (Marchand, 2008). Demand for CIOs in many organizations may result in voluntary turnover. Further, the CIO has only 100 days to prove his or her value to the organization and senior management (Capella, 2006).

The emergence of a new breed of manager, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) was reported by Bock, Carpenter, and Davis (1986) in Business Week. This new position was supposed to provide a link between the data processing department and the company's senior managers. Thus, the data processing manager position was becoming recognized as a CIO in a similar manner as twenty years before when accountants were elevated to the CFO position. The emergence of the CIO role suggests that companies were recognizing the strategic importance of information and its supporting technology.

Accepting Associate Editor: Raafat Saade

If the application of information technology is going to be successful, a team approach is necessary at the senior level in the organization (Maciag, 2002). So, the CIO must attempt to bridge the gap between information technology and the business. However, other members of the senior management committee must become aware of information technology and related processes and how these may be applied to other functional areas within the organization. The major underlying factor for this situation is related to the alignment of expectations of the CIO and other members of the senior management committee.

The objective of this research project was to investigate these issues and others related to the emerging and evolving role of the CIO. The goal was to document these issues as identified by the CIO and to explore the issues relative to various corporate and national contexts. A crosscultural investigation was also conducted in an attempt to determine if this newly emerging role is being impacted by societal culture. Thus, in-depth exploratory one-on-one interviews were conducted to document CIOs' comments about those issues which they considered significant.

This document is structured in the following manner. The next section presents a review of current research and is organized into two categories of investigations related to the organization and the individual role. This latter category is the focus of the research project reported here in the subsequent section. Next, the findings of this research are reported organized by CIO comments about initial, current, and future issues. This sequence of issues was chosen in an attempt to identify any trends in the CIO role. The discussion section provides comments about alignment and culture as they relate to the CIO role. Finally, conclusions are presented about the emerging CIO role.

Current Research

The discussion of research related to the role of the CIO is presented here in two categories. The first category relates to organizational aspects of the CIO role and the relationship of the CIO to both the overall company and the functional unit of the CIO. This category provides the context for the second category, which is the focus of this research project. The second category discusses research related to investigating various aspects of the emerging role of the CIO.

Organizational Aspects Research

The perception of the CIO role within the company is evolving (Patten, Fjermestad, & Whitworth, 2009). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.