Leading change across the organization
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Organizational change processes frequently cut across multiple units or domains. Such changes processes commonly involve particular challenges related to intergroup tensions engendered by divergent perspectives, objectives and identities. Accomplishing organizational change requires managing such tensions productively. Organizations may choose to establish leadership roles specifically dedicated to leading change across the organization. Two such roles described within information systems research are process owners, who are responsible for business process improvement and innovation, and chief digital officers, who manage large-scale digital transformation. The purpose of this thesis is to develop an understanding of how intergroup leadership roles like process owners and chief digital officers contribute to managing intergroup tensions hindering organizational change. This thesis consists of three articles. I conducted a literature review of research on process owners, a Delphi study investigating how organizations can make process ownership work and an interview-based study of how chief digital officers understand and manage tensions related to digital transformation. My findings provide a deeper understanding of the role of process owners and chief digital officers as intergroup leaders, and of how they manage intergroup tensions and thereby facilitate organizational change through connecting different groups involved. The findings also illuminate the challenges these intergroup leaders face and how these challenges can be addressed. This thesis contributes to literature on business process management and on digital transformation, but also to our understanding of intergroup leadership in the context of organizational change.