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An evaluation framework for comparing business-IT alignment models: A tool for supporting collaborative learning in organizations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Computers in human behavior, ISSN 0747-5632, E-ISSN 1873-7692, Vol. 51, no Part B, 1229-1247 p.Article in journal (Refereed) 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 51, no Part B, 1229-1247 p.
Keyword [en]
Strategic alignment, Evaluation framework, BITA, Collaborative learning in BITA, Alignment models
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119901DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.016ISI: 000359880100078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-119901DiVA: diva2:868525
Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From Theory to Practice of Business-IT Alignment: Barriers, an Evaluation Framework and Relationships with Organisational Culture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Theory to Practice of Business-IT Alignment: Barriers, an Evaluation Framework and Relationships with Organisational Culture
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2016. 74 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 16-006
Keyword
business-IT alignment, organisational culture, strategic alignment, barriers to business-IT alignment, business-IT alignment evaluation framework, business-IT alignment-organisational culture integrated view
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129143 (URN)978-91-7649-433-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-03, L50, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
MIT
Available from: 2016-05-11 Created: 2016-04-15 Last updated: 2017-02-17Bibliographically approved

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