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Trust and Partnership: Strategic IT Management for Turbulent Times by Robert J. Benson

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CHAPTER 10

The Leadership Required

The Introduction to Part II defines the Leadership principle for Strategic IT Management as:1

Senior business and IT management provides support for the business–IT relationship and provides leadership throughout the life of the relationship. IT leadership creates a business-focused culture and nurtures the best relationships within IT and with the business. The CEO and business leadership establishes the environment for the partnership, the roles to be played, and the necessary commitment and motivation.

Leadership is not only about the CEO and CIO and their roles, it is about everyone involved in applying information and IT in the enterprise, both business and IT staff.2 But what is it? Some of it seems like simple good management, making things happen. A lot more is setting the direction for moving forward, up to and including what we've defined as strategic management—motivating and mobilizing the available resources to achieve the enterprise's strategic aims.

We find the two fundamental leadership aspects vital to Strategic IT Management. The first aspect, namely the proactive initiatives to achieve short- and long-term goals for IT in the enterprise, is indeed connected to management. Some researchers call this transactional leadership. The second aspect is the leadership necessary to achieve fundamental change in the mission or structure in business or IT activities. Some researchers call this transformation leadership.3 Both aspects ...

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