Uncovering and testing archetypes of effective public sector CIOs

Gregory S. Dawson, Richard T. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Given the importance of public sector CIOs to government performance and citizens' faith in democracy as an efficient provider of services, it is important to understand what makes some government CIOs more effective than others. QMethod is used to uncover five archetypes of public sector CIOs which are shown to be reliable across two Q sorts. These archetypes include politically-oriented CIO, savvy negotiator, technology optimizer, and skillful communicator. Further analysis using a tournament scoring approach indicates that business-oriented CIOs are the most effective. Applying a stakeholder perspective to interpret the results, it is proposed that business-oriented CIOs understand the value in tracking closely to an organization's business leaders and strategically ignoring other stakeholders in their environment, even politically powerful ones. The development and comparison of archetypes provide a new focus of CIO research by extending from the individual level of the attribute to a combination of attributes (archetypes).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalACM Transactions on Management Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Chief information officer
  • Information asymmetry
  • Leadership effectiveness
  • Public sector
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Strategic alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • General Computer Science


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