Executives' role in digital transformation


  • José Fernando López-Muñoz ESIC Business & Marketing School
  • Alejandro Escribá-Esteve University of Valencia & Ivie




top management support, digitalization, imbrication, affordances, attention, digital transformation


This conceptual paper revisits and updates the concept of top management support (TMS), which has been the long-established rationale for explaining the role of top managers in digitalization activities. In our view, the concept of TMS is grounded in technological determinism, accounts for attitudinal and behavioral aspects that appear to be little more than exhortation and accepts the occasional responsibility of top managers in technology management. We consider both the crucial role that top managers may play in the digitalization process and the fact that digital technologies have become pervasive in today’s organizations. Then, we develop a model by which top managers and digital technologies are cooperatively involved for digitalization. For that, we have looked through the theoretical lens of imbrication and attention perspectives to reconstruct the role of top managers in the digital transformation process. In our view, each imbrication layer can be viewed as a process where top managers form beliefs to act on digital opportunities for strategic action. Specifically, our model provides insights into how executives’ characteristics and social processes impact the likelihood of forming either beliefs about radical or incremental opportunities requiring strategic action. Additionally, we offer several hypotheses that enrich our knowledge of the relationship between top managers and the digitalization process.




How to Cite

López-Muñoz, J. F. ., & Escribá-Esteve, A. . (2022). Executives’ role in digital transformation. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 10(3), 84–103. https://doi.org/10.12821/ijispm100304