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From Theory to Practice: Barriers to Business-IT Alignment in Organizations Acting in Sweden
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.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-48), IEEE Computer Society, 2015, 4523-4533 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2015. 4523-4533 p.
Keyword [en]
Interviews, Companies, Databases, Analytical models, Planning, Barriers to alignment, Business-IT alignment, BITA
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119909DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2015.540ISBN: 978-1-4799-7367-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-119909DiVA: diva2:868546
Conference
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-48), Jan 5-8, 2015
Note

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

Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically 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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Citation style
  • apa
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