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Evaluating the Model of IT-Institutional Alignment Practices for Higher Education Institutional Performance. Stakeholders’ insights
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. University of Rwanda, Rwanda.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9614-7936
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
(English)In: Information Technology for Development, ISSN 0268-1102, E-ISSN 1554-0170Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Effective alignment between IT and institutional activities has to be created to improve performance in the university service delivery. A specific IT-Institutional Alignment Model (ITIAM) with practices for improving institutional performance was earlier suggested. This study aims to evaluate the earlier developed model and provide an outline of the evaluation outcomes. Using a seven-evaluation criteria framework, 11 case study institutions from Rwanda were explored. Data from questionnaires and in-depth interviews were analyzed to understand the model relevance and acceptability level. Findings indicated a high degree of the model relevance to support in creating IT alignment with university services. Likewise, the evaluation showed a high degree of model acceptability per all the seven evaluation criteria. Version 2 of this model was proposed based on the stakeholders’ opinions. Practical evaluation of the ITIAM model along with a real-time IT system implementation in university services is left for further endeavors of this research. 

Keywords [en]
IT alignment practices, institutional performance, higher education, information technology, evaluation criteria, artefact
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168716OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168716DiVA, id: diva2:1313979
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Note

Ulf Olsson is also affiliated to the Centre for the Advancement of University Teaching at Stockholm University.

Available from: 2019-05-07 Created: 2019-05-07 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Improving IT Integration for Higher Education Institutional Performance: Towards a Contextualised IT-Institutional Alignment Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving IT Integration for Higher Education Institutional Performance: Towards a Contextualised IT-Institutional Alignment Model
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The integration of information technology (IT) into service delivery is currently seen as an innovative strategy to support the modernising of universities worldwide. However, in some institutions in developing countries, including Rwanda, IT has failed to add the intended value to university services, despite huge associated investments in IT. Consequently, IT-organisational alignment continues to be a primary concern for university managers. This alignment is viewed in terms of its strategic, socio-cultural, and technological dimensions. For effective IT-institutional alignment, several antecedents (alignment practices) for creating an appropriate fit between IT and organisations have been suggested in the literature. However, several studies exploring IT alignment focused mainly on general business companies, and similar research with an emphasis on higher education institutions is still scarce. Therefore, the aim of this research was twofold: firstly, it attempted to understand the process of IT integration into universities; and secondly, to propose a contextual model for IT-institutional alignment within a higher education context. A design science research methodology (DSRM) was applied in this research, using surveys and case studies as research strategies. Preliminary findings at the exploration phase of this research indicated a strong misalignment between IT and the university services caused by the lack of clearly defined alignment practices. Furthermore, as the research main outcome, an IT-Institutional Alignment Model (ITIAM) was proposed after reaching an understanding of the current state and challenges related to IT integration into teaching, learning, research and university administration. This model includes 44 alignment practices, related to both technical and non-technical dimensions. These alignment practices were clustered under six categories: (1) Communication, (2) Structure/Governance, (3) Technology Scope, (4) Competence/Value Measurement, (5) Skills, and (6) Partnership. Alignment practices related to institutional structure and governance, skills and communication were found to have a strong positive influence on the institutional performance, as compared to those related to competence and value measurement, partnership, and technology scope. Based on the research findings, the proposed ITIAM, which was iteratively tested and evaluated using case study institutions, was found to be a relevant tool for guiding the implementation of IT systems towards the improvement of institutional performance. Hence, this thesis makes a theoretical contribution by applying the concept of IT alignment within a higher education context and by documenting the empirically tested contextual alignment practices as conveyed in the ITIAM Model. Additionally, as a practical implication, the results can serve as a reference for an effective IT integration process in university services and for how to improve performance through effective use of IT in teaching, learning, research and educational management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 131
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 19-008
Keywords
IT integration, IT alignment, Alignment practices, Design science research, Innovation diffusion, Technology adoption, Institutional performance, Higher education, Artefact Evaluation
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Information Systems Learning Information Systems, Social aspects Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168811 (URN)978-91-7797-741-4 (ISBN)978-91-7797-742-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-06, L70, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2019-08-14 Created: 2019-05-09 Last updated: 2019-08-06Bibliographically approved

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