How the West was Lost: Chief Information Officers and the Battle of Jurisdictional Control

AbstractRecent research has highlighted the potential downfall of the role and profession of Chief Information Officer (CIO). As the top executive responsible for IT in an organization, this role has gone through several shifts since its advent in the 1980’s. This study addresses how the role has evolved, and, explores how it may evolve in the years to come. The study utilizes a combination of structured literature review and interviews, and is informed by Abbott’s systems of professions perspective. The findings show that after an increase in jurisdictional control prior to the turn of the millennium, the profession has decreased and is continuing to decrease its jurisdictional control. This is in part linked to the imposition of IT Governance frameworks designed to shift risk from the profession of CIOs to neighboring professions. This is discussed in light of calls for future research.

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