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The chief digital officer position and its firm-level impact : a literature review on CDO research and an analysis of CDO presence and performance implications

  • With rapidly advancing technologies and digital innovations, companies face the need to adapt to the new digital world and to digitally transform their business models. For executing the digital transformation process, more and more companies decide to entrust a new C-level manager with all challenges and complexity arising from digital transformation, the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). As the CDO position is still fairly new, research in this field is limited and requires further attention by scholars. Therefore, this study aims to address three fundamental research questions concerning the nature of the CDO position and corresponding implications not only to inform practitioners but also to enrich the scholarly discussion on CDOs. By understanding existing literature on CDOs based on a systematic literature review, this thesis answers the first research question regarding what characterizes the CDO position. Building on these insights and drawing from a comprehensive theoretical framework consisting of upper echelons theory, contingency theory, human capital theory and the resource-based view, hypotheses are developed for answering research questions two and three. While the second research question focuses on factors, which influence CDO presence within a company, the third research question addresses the impact of a CDO on company performance. Based on a large-scale sample of panel data comprised of S&P 500 companies, generalized estimating equations models, propensity score matching and fixed effects regression models are exploited in order to derive answers for both research questions two and three. As influencing factors for CDO presence, the results show that especially early tenure CEOs and CEOs of larger companies are more likely to employ a CDO. Although no evidence can be observed for positive performance implications of CDOs, also given different company contingencies, the insights of this study's analyses show that certain CDO characteristics as well as in combination with CIO presence and varying CEO characteristics are more favorable over others in terms of company performance measured by return on assets and Tobin's Q.

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Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Author:Maximilian Moritz Hiller
Referee:Tobias DauthORCiD, Henning ZülchORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of International Management
Full text/ URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa2-760941
Year of Completion:2021
Page Number:X, 266
Date of final exam:2021/05/26
Tag:Chief Digital Officer; Company performance; Human capital; Top management team; Upper echelons
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt