Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research (Print ISSN: 1533-3590; Online ISSN: 1533-3604)


CEO′S Field of Study and Bank Attention to Digital Transformation: Moderating Role of CEO Characteristics

Author(s): Zaidi Noura, Sadraoui Tarek & Lemire Daniel

According to an upper echelons (UE) perspective Hambrick and Mason 1984 and attention-based view (ABV) of the firm, what managers pay attention to will eventually affect a bank's strategic direction. Based on this notion, this paper argue that while all CEOs should promote the digital transformation of the bank, some CEOs will pay more attention to digital transformation than others, based on their educational background: both field and level. Further, this work mentions that additional CEO characteristics (such as CEO educational level, tenure and Duality), will strengthen or weaken this positive relationship. This relationship has never been tested to the best of our knowledge. Following a quantitative approach, a sample of 1342 banker between 2018 and 2020 have been used. This paper makes three contributions to the literature on CEO characteristics and digital transformation. First, it contributes to the UE literature in general and the CEO education literature in particular by linking CEOs educational background (both field and level) with digital transformation and by providing a new driver for bank performance. Furthermore, results confirm that the CEO tenure and Duality positively moderate this positive relationship Secondly, this study provides insights for regulators, intending to digitally transform their organizations, regarding their CEOs recruitment decisions. Given the relationship between a CEOs’ attentional focus and educational background, close attention should be paid to the characteristics of potential CEO candidates. Finally, these insights could also be helpful to strategic decision-makers predicting a competitor’s digital transformation moves based on their CEO’s profile.

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