CIOs profiles: contributions of narrative identity


  • Laure Muselli Telecom Paristech
  • Emmanuel Bertin Orange Labs
  • Christina Tsoni SCBS Yschools
  • Régis Martineau


DSI, digital, numérique, identité de rôle, identité narrative


The literature on CIOs identifies a trend shift from technical profiles to business profiles, which can even lead to new roles of innovators or even strategists. But we know that functions and roles are not uniformly adopted by individuals. This article allows us to account for the complexity of the identity of a CIO, in a more appropriate manner compared to a profile approach usually used in IS research. Towards this end, we mobilize Ricœur’s narrative identity which, with the notions of sameness (mêmeté) and selfhood (ipséité), makes it possible to better dissect the identity of CIOs. The results of the research, based on 25 interviews carried out with CIOs of large companies, highlight four roles of sameness and four aspirations of selfhood. The narrative identities of CIOs are then composed of different roles of sameness and selfhood and paint a nuanced picture avoiding too clear-cut categorizations. They each reflect the way in which each CIO manages their identity construction, often in an ambidextrous manner. By considering these aspects, the HR departments of organizations will undoubtedly be better able to understand and support CIOs both in terms of responsibilities and career aspirations.

Author Biographies

Laure Muselli, Telecom Paristech

Maîtresse de conférences, i3, Télécom Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Emmanuel Bertin, Orange Labs

HDR, Professeur associé Telecom Sud Paris

Christina Tsoni, SCBS Yschools

Professeur associé SCBS Yschools

Régis Martineau

HDR, Professeur ICN Business School, Cerefige



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How to Cite

Muselli, L., Bertin, E., Tsoni, C., & Martineau, R. (2023). CIOs profiles: contributions of narrative identity. Systèmes d’Information Et Management (French Journal of Management Information Systems), 28(3), 11–58. Retrieved from



Empirical research