Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 13 Number 1 1996 pp. 63-88

The Congruence between a Firm's Competitive Strategy and Information Technology Leader's Rank and Role

Karimi, Jahangir, Gupta, Yash P, and Somers, Toni M

ABSTRACT: Today's firms are faced with new competitive and technological challenges. As a consequence, many senior executives are looking for information technology (IT) leaders who not only can understand technology but also can comprehend technology's potential to affect business strategy. For the IT leaders, rising to such numerous, and often conflicting, challenges is not easy. Indeed, there is a higher than average corporate dismissal rate and shorter tenure for IT leaders compared with other top executives. Based on the responses from 213 IT leaders in the financial services industry, this study found that the rank and role of a firm's IT leader must be aligned with the firm's competitive strategy. The implications of the findings for the firms' executives, as well as researchers, are discussed in detail.

Key words and phrases: competitive strategy, information technology leaders, strategy-technology alignment