Critical success factors for IS executive careers

Nansi Shi, David J. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article qualitatively analyzes the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for Information Systems (IS) executive careers based on evidence gathered from five case studies carried out in 1997. Typical IS executive career paths are presented within a time series style and the CSFs are interpreted within a descriptive framework by synthesising the case data based on Social Cognitive Theory. The descriptive framework suggests that successful IS executive careers would most likely be achieved by well educated and experienced IS employees who have the right attitude towards both their career and work, together with good performance. They would also exhibit an ability for self-learning and to anticipate future IT uses, as well as having proficient IS management knowledge and skills while working with an appropriate organizational environment. Moreover, the framework systematically indicates the interactions between the coupling factors in the typical career development processes. This provides a benchmark for employees that are aiming at a senior IS executive career against which they can compare their own achievements and aspirations. It also raises propositions for further research on theory building.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-54
Number of pages21
JournalSIGCPR newsletter
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


  • Critical Success Factors
  • CSFs
  • Information Systems
  • IS
  • executive careers
  • executive career paths
  • Social Cognitive Theory


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