Fathoming the elements of leadership has been a perennial concern for philosophers and thinkers for centuries. A massive volume of research devoted to understanding organizational leadership has accumulated over several decades. However, an important class of managerial leaders that has emerged in recent times has been effectively ignored. Paradoxically, the Information Systems Leader (e.g., CIO, VP of IS) and the notion of IS leadership are rarely studied in the information age. It is widely acknowledged by researchers and practitioners that IS skills are critical to the current and future operations of almost all organizations. Those firms that are able to develop superior capabilities in IS (e.g., UPS's parcel tracking service, Wal-Mart's logistics system, Sabre's airline reservation system, and Cisco's order fulfillment system) gain considerable operational and competitive advantage. Although there are nearly 100 academic IS research centers (Thao, 2002), as far as we can ascertain there is no ISL academic research center that focuses on IS leadership. Thus, the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia decided it should establish a research center to focus on IS leadership. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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