|SENIOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) LEADER CREDIBILITY: KNOWLEDGE SCALE, MEDIATING KNOWLEDGE MECHANISMS, AND EFFECTIVENESS|
|Doctor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, 2017, Management|
This dissertation explains leader effectiveness in the context of the senior information technology (IT) leader who plays a pivotal role in the execution and delivery of corporate IT services. Considered leaders of leaders, senior IT leaders typically report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Using a sequential three-phase mixed methods study the thesis makes four contributions; (1) through qualitative inquiry shows that effective senior IT leaders maintain a balance of domain knowledge and emotional and social aptitudes; (2) develops and validates a four-dimensional scale to measure the level of IT leader domain knowledge; (3) demonstrates nomological and predictive validity of the scale and evaluates the impact of IT leader domain knowledge in solving managerial problems and brokering knowledge to others; (4) the studies combine to a build cohesive argument that leadership credibility wherein technical domain knowledge forms the other component is a critical antecedent for leadership effectiveness. The validation is founded on a sample of 104 senior IT leaders and 490 IT leader subordinates within a global IT service firm. Overall, our findings suggest that the so far neglected effect of IT domain knowledge forms not only an important but vital component influencing overall senior IT leader effectiveness. This has consequences for both established theories of leader credibility and leader effectiveness in highly specialized technical domains. Practically the study underscores the importance of hiring and maintaining senior IT leaders with strong technical credentials.
Committee: Kalle Lyytinen, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Jagip Singh, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Genevieve Bassellier, Ph.D. (Committee Member); John King, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Business Administration; Information Systems; Information Technology; Management
Keywords: Senior IT Leaders; Leadership Effectiveness; Credibility; Domain Knowledge; Leader Knowledge; Knowledge Mechanisms; Scale Development; Multi-dimensional Scale Validity; Mixed Methods