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From Theory to Practice of Business-IT Alignment: Barriers, an Evaluation Framework and Relationships with Organisational Culture
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap. (IT Management)
2016 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Business-IT alignment (BITA) continues to be a top management concern. It generally refers to a preferred condition in which the relationship between business and IT is optimised to maximise the business value of IT. Early approaches in both research and practice have focused on the role of IT in supporting business strategies. Today, a more extended approach of BITA has been embraced that recognises soft factors that are related to people and culture issues at both tactical and operational levels of organisations. ‘Why alignment is important’ is not the crucial question today. In fact ‘how it can be achieved and matured’ is the real concern of business executives. There exists a number of theoretical models for conceptualising BITA, however, they have different focuses and contain different BITA components. Therefore, there is a need for a means of supporting practitioners for selecting an appropriate model.

Furthermore, there is a need for a more practice-oriented research that target higher maturity of BITA by understanding the organisational context, including barriers that hinders BITA and the mutual relationships between organisational culture and BITA. Thus, the overall problem addressed in the thesis is the following: In spite of extensive literature on business-IT alignment, there is still limited maturity of business-IT alignment in practice due to the limited knowledge on barriers that hinder BITA achievement from practitioners’ perspective, on the means for supporting the selection of an appropriate model for assessing BITA, and on mutual relationships between BITA and organisational culture.

Based on this research problem, five research objectives were developed. The first two objectives corresponded to barriers to achieving BITA and supporting the selection of BITA model respectively. The remaining three objectives corresponded to the two unidirectional influences between BITA and organisational culture (OC) and to the mutual relationships between them respectively. Different research methodologies and strategies were applied to achieve the research objectives, including qualitative and quantitative studies as well as design science.

The results presented in the thesis, each corresponding to an objective, are the following: 

  • A list of barriers that practitioners can use as a basis for better achievement of BITA, a better focus on strategic vs. tactical barriers, and their relationships to BITA components.
  • An evaluation framework that supports practitioners in selecting appropriate BITA models for assessing and modelling BITA.
  • An extended version of the strategic alignment model (SAM) of Luftman (2000), which considers organisational culture.
  • An analysis of the impact of BITA components on organisational culture profiles.
  • A BITA-organisational culture integrated view that supports decision-makers in facilitating decisions regarding both BITA and organisational culture.

The results of the research provide both theoretical and empirical contributions to the business-IT alignment research and practice.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University , 2016. , s. 74
Serie
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 16-006
Nyckelord [en]
business-IT alignment, organisational culture, strategic alignment, barriers to business-IT alignment, business-IT alignment evaluation framework, business-IT alignment-organisational culture integrated view
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129143ISBN: 978-91-7649-433-2 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129143DiVA, id: diva2:920065
Disputation
2016-06-03, L50, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Projekt
MITTillgänglig från: 2016-05-11 Skapad: 2016-04-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-04-08Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Strategic and Tactical Business-IT Alignment Barriers in Organizations Acting in Sweden
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Strategic and Tactical Business-IT Alignment Barriers in Organizations Acting in Sweden
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2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: International Journal of IT - Business Alignment and Governance, ISSN 1947-9611, E-ISSN 1947-962X, Vol. 6, nr 2, s. 31-55Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

In research, many barriers to BITA are presented based on different theoretical frameworks. However, these barriers are studied either from a pure theoretical perspective or with limited empirical scope. This consequently hinders the achievement of BITA in organizations. In this article the practitioners view of barriers to BITA are investigated aiming at producing a list of barriers which practitioners can use as a ground for better achievement of BITA. The list of barriers was identified by conducting three in-depth case studies on multinational organizations acting in Sweden along with two focused group discussions of researchers, and followed by a survey on 74 large and medium sized organizations on the Swedish market. The result of this study is a list of 45 barriers to BITA from the perspectives of business and IT practitioners.

Nyckelord
Business Information Systems, Business Science Reference, IT Governance, Library IS&T
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122882 (URN)10.4018/IJITBAG.2015070103 (DOI)
Tillgänglig från: 2015-11-11 Skapad: 2015-11-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
2. From Theory to Practice: Barriers to Business-IT Alignment in Organizations Acting in Sweden
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>From Theory to Practice: Barriers to Business-IT Alignment in Organizations Acting in Sweden
Visa övriga...
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of the 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE, 2015, s. 4523-4533Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

In research, many barriers to BITA are presented based on different theoretical frameworks. However, these barriers are studied either from a pure theoretical perspective or with limited empirical scope. This consequently hinders the achievement of BITA in organizations. In this paper the practitioners view of barriers to BITA are investigated aiming at producing a list of barriers which practitioners can use as a ground for better achievement of BITA. The list of barriers was identified by conducting two in-depth case studies on multinational organizations acting in Sweden along with two focused group discussions of researchers, and followed by a survey on 74 large and medium sized organizations on the Swedish market. The result of this study is a list of 45 barriers to BITA from the perspectives of business and IT practitioners.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
IEEE, 2015
Nyckelord
Interviews, Companies, Databases, Analytical models, Planning, Barriers to alignment, Business-IT alignment, BITA
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119909 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2015.540 (DOI)978-1-4799-7367-5 (ISBN)
Konferens
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai, Hawaii, USA, January 5-8, 2015
Anmärkning

Nominated for the best paper: http://www.hicss.org/#!bestpapers/c1nso

Tillgänglig från: 2015-11-11 Skapad: 2015-08-28 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-17Bibliografiskt granskad
3. An evaluation framework for comparing business-IT alignment models: A tool for supporting collaborative learning in organizations
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>An evaluation framework for comparing business-IT alignment models: A tool for supporting collaborative learning in organizations
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Computers in human behavior, ISSN 0747-5632, E-ISSN 1873-7692, Vol. 51, nr Part B, s. 1229-1247Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Researchers and practitioners have argued on the importance of business-IT alignment (BITA) for organizations to maximize the business value of IT. As a result, a vast number of BITA models have been designed to support organizations in achieving, assessing and maintaining BITA. These models focus on different components (i.e. concepts/aspects of alignment) and emphasize different perspectives of the alignment (i.e. how alignment is perceived by practitioners). This makes it difficult for practitioners to choose an appropriate BITA model for a specific organization. In this paper, an evaluation framework to support practitioners in choosing appropriate BITA models is proposed. The framework was constructed following design science as a research approach. The design science activities were carried out in an iterative manner until reaching a final artefact. The process started with an extensive literature survey that led to designing a tentative model. Following that, different empirical iterations contributed to the framework development. The final framework consists of 25 criteria categorized into four groups. It was tested on six major BITA models, demonstrating its feasibility. Finally, the framework was evaluated by interviewing five business consultants and seven IT managers from large Swedish organizations. The evaluation shows that the framework has a complete set of criteria with a sufficient level of coherence, but its usability and efficiency is argued differently. The framework, additionally, is argued to potentially be used as a collaborative learning tool on requirement of BITA between practitioners from both business and IT domain or serve in the academic world.

Nyckelord
Strategic alignment, Evaluation framework, BITA, Collaborative learning in BITA, Alignment models
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119901 (URN)10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.016 (DOI)000359880100078 ()
Externt samarbete:
Tillgänglig från: 2015-11-11 Skapad: 2015-08-28 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
4. A Framework to Support Practitioners in Evaluating Business-IT Alignment Models
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>A Framework to Support Practitioners in Evaluating Business-IT Alignment Models
2013 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of the Nineteenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Association for Information Systems, 2013, s. 1-12Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

Many business-IT alignment (BITA) models have been designed to support organizations in achieving, assessing and maintaining alignment between business and IT. These models focus on different components and emphasize different perspectives. This makes it difficult for practitioners to choose appropriate BITA models given organization at-hand. In this paper, an evaluation framework supporting practitioners to choose appropriate BITA models is presented. The framework was designed following design science as main research approach. The design process was based on literature and empirical studies. The literature study contributed in constructing a tentative version of the framework which was refined through an empirical study in 6 organizations. The final framework consists of 25 criteria categorized into four groups, and was demonstrated on six major BITA models showing its feasibility. Finally, the framework was evaluated by interviewing two business consultants and three CIOs from large-sized Swedish companies. The evaluation shows the framework having a complete set of criteria, but its usability and efficiency could be increased.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Association for Information Systems, 2013
Nyckelord
Business-IT alignment, Alignment, Comparing BITA
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95931 (URN)
Konferens
AMCIS 2013, August 15-17, 2013, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Tillgänglig från: 2013-11-07 Skapad: 2013-11-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
5. Organizational Culture Impact on Business-IT Alignment: A Case Study of a Multinational Organization
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Organizational Culture Impact on Business-IT Alignment: A Case Study of a Multinational Organization
2011 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of the 44th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences / [ed] Ralph H. Sprague, Jr., IEEE Computer Society, 2011, s. 1-11Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

Importance of BITA has increased over the past few years. However, achieving and maturing BITA still has apparent difficulties. Therefore, research efforts resulted in a number of theoretical models that can be applied as supportive tools for assessing different components of BITA. Most of these efforts have been produced either in Anglo-Saxon Countries or based on their experiences. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of organizational culture on maturity of BITA. The paper relies on the nine dimensions of Project GLOBE to understand societal as well as organizational culture. It also relies on the bottom-up comprehensive approach of Luftman's Strategic Alignment Maturity Model to understand organization's alignment components. To fulfill the purpose of this study, a comparative analysis has been carried out between two subsidiaries of a multinational organization with a federal organizational structure that operate in Egypt and Sweden. The results shows: a) a potential difference in how different components of BITA are interpreted and implemented in different organizational culture, and b) that the impact of organizational culture on BITA maturity is more complex than what is expected especially on variables that require social interactions.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
IEEE Computer Society, 2011
Nyckelord
Business-IT alignment, Comparative analysis, Maturity model, Multinational organizations, Organizational cultures, Organizational structures, Potential difference, Research efforts, Social interactions, Strategic alignment, Supportive tools, Theoretical models
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55287 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2011.337 (DOI)978-076954282-9 (ISBN)
Konferens
The 44th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 4-7 January 2011 Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii
Tillgänglig från: 2011-03-07 Skapad: 2011-03-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
6. Extending BITA Maturity Model from Organizational Culture Perspective
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Extending BITA Maturity Model from Organizational Culture Perspective
2012 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of the 45th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences / [ed] Ralph H. Sprague, Jr., IEEE Computer Society, 2012, s. 5011-5022Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

Business-IT alignment (BITA) has gained attention during the past few years. As a result, a number of theoretical models that can be applied as supportive tools for assessing different components of BITA have been developed. However, most of these efforts have been produced either in Anglo-Saxon Countries or rooted in the experiences gained from these countries. Consequently, they ignore the factor that is subjected to change due to difference in cultural contexts. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of organizational culture on achieving BITA and influences its maturity. The research method and process that was followed, namely an in-depth literature survey followed by an empirical study of 51 Swedish multinational organizations.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
IEEE Computer Society, 2012
Nyckelord
business-IT alignment, organizational culture, strategic alignment maturity
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79521 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2012.275 (DOI)978-1-4577-1925-7 (ISBN)
Konferens
The 45th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, 4-7 January, 2012
Tillgänglig från: 2012-09-05 Skapad: 2012-09-05 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
7. An Organizational Culture Perspective in Business-IT Alignment
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>An Organizational Culture Perspective in Business-IT Alignment
2012 (Engelska)Ingår i: International Journal of IT - Business Alignment and Governance, ISSN 1947-9611, E-ISSN 1947-962X, Vol. 3, nr 1, s. 1-26Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Business-IT alignment (BITA) has gained attention during the last decade. As a result, a number of theoretical models that can be applied as supportive tools for assessing different components of BITA have been developed. However, most of these efforts have been produced in different countries and they ignore the factor that’s subjected to change due to cultural contexts. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of organizational culture on achieving BITA and influences its maturity. The research method and process follows the design science research and is done in three phases. First, an in-depth literature survey followed by a survey was carried out to identify and classify limitations of BITA attributes (based on Luftman’s strategic alignment maturity (SAM)) model and then, hypothesize the potential impact of organizational culture element (based on the Smit et al. model) on BITA attributes. Second, an empirical study is carried out to test the hypotheses in order to identify the limited BITA attributes based on organizational culture context. These attributes are further classified for proposing an extended version to the SAM model. Finally, the extended-SAM model is evaluated in 6 Swedish large and medium organizations to test its practicality for comparing its assessment with the assessment of the original SAM model.

Nyckelord
Organizational Culture, Business-IT Alignment, Strategic Alignment Maturity Model
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79514 (URN)10.4018/jitbag.2012010101 (DOI)
Tillgänglig från: 2012-09-05 Skapad: 2012-09-05 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
8. The Impact Of Business-It Alignment On Organizational Culture
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The Impact Of Business-It Alignment On Organizational Culture
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2014), Proceedings, 2014Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

Organizational culture continues to be cited as one of the most important factors for organizations’ success in an increasingly competitive and IT-driven global environment. Given the fact that organizational culture has an influence all over the organization, the complexity of its nature is increased when considering the relationship between business and IT. As a result, different factors that have influence on changing organizational culture were highlighted in literature. These factors are found in the research literature distributed in three main group; micro-environment factors, macro-environment factors and leader’s impact. One of the factors that have not been yet well investigated in researches is concerning business-IT alignment (BITA. Therefore the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of BITA maturity on organizational culture. The research process that we have followed is a literature survey followed by an in-depth case study. The result of this research shows a clear interrelation in theories of both BITA and organizational culture, and clear indications of BITA impact on organizational culture and its change. The findings may support both practitioners and researchers in order to understand the insights of the relationships between BITA and organizational culture components and provide a roadmap for improvements or desired changes in organizational culture with highlighted target business area.

Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108657 (URN)
Konferens
Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, Chengdu, June 24-28, 2014
Tillgänglig från: 2014-10-31 Skapad: 2014-10-31 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad
9. BUSINESS-IT ALIGNMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE RELATIONSHIPS: TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED VIEW
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>BUSINESS-IT ALIGNMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE RELATIONSHIPS: TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED VIEW
2016 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2016), Association for Information Systems, 2016Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

The analyses of literature on business-IT alignment (BITA) and Organisational Culture (OC) domains of prac-tice revealed needs for combined studies as the impact of each domain on the other is not well studied in re-search. The purpose of this study is to develop and validate a set of relationships between components of BITA and OC towards development of a BITA-Culture integrated view. For achieving this purpose, we adopted a multi-stage (based on mixed-method) approach starting by an extensive literature review on both BITA and OC for constructing hypotheses on correlations between their components. Following that, an empirical research was conducted in three case organisations for empirical investigation of relationships and for refining the hy-potheses. To test the research hypotheses an extended quantitative test was performed by a survey on 117 busi-ness and IT practitioners. The results were the bases for developing the BITA-Culture integrated view. This integrated view is aimed to support both practitioners in order to understand the insights of the relationships between BITA and OC components and provide a road-map for improvements or desired changes in OC with highlighted target business areas.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Association for Information Systems, 2016
Nyckelord
Business-IT alignment, Organisational Culture, BITA-Culture Model
Nationell ämneskategori
Data- och informationsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129533 (URN)
Konferens
European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2016), Istanbul, Turkey, 12-15 June, 2016
Tillgänglig från: 2016-04-25 Skapad: 2016-04-25 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-05Bibliografiskt granskad

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