Exploring the relationship between IT Governance and Strategic Alignment

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The relationship between business and information technology (IT) has been a persistent topic of discussion both in academia and among practitioners in the past decades. The alignment of business and IT, or strategic alignment, is viewed as an important factor and driver of business value of IT. While the importance of alignment is acknowledged, organizations continue to struggle in achieving it. IT governance has been identified as one of the key factors in achieving strategic alignment. In order to effectively apply IT governance practices, it is important to understand the relationship and impact of IT governance on strategic alignment. This dissertation explores the extent to which strategic alignment is impacted by IT governance practices. The dissertation is composed of an introduction and five individual studies addressing the different aspects of the problem. The studies apply a mixed research approach, using conceptual, qualitative and quantitative research methods. The empirical part of the dissertation consists of an in-depth case study conducted in a large multi-national service and manufacturing company and a quantitative study based on two surveys conducted among both private and public sector participants. First two papers explore the evolution of strategic alignment and its nature from various perspectives based on extensive literature reviews. The third paper elaborates business value of IT and its link with IT governance practices in the extant literature. The fourth paper describes an in-depth case study on IT governance best practices and their impact on strategic alignment. And finally, a quantitative study explores the relationship between IT governance and strategic alignment, discusses the underlying factors affecting the alignment, and offers a set of key IT governance practices for further scrutiny. The key contribution of this dissertation is on providing empirical evidence on the complex relationship between IT governance and strategic alignment. The research findings suggest that IT governance practices have a significant contribution to strategic alignment on operational and tactical levels. On strategic level, however, the findings suggest that the implementation of IT governance practices is dependent on how strategic IT is seen in the organization. Finally, the dissertation puts forth a new construct, a set of eight key IT governance practices found to have a positive impact on strategic alignment, refining previous research on the topic.
Translated title of the contributionTietohallinnon johtamiskäytänteiden vaikutus liiketoiminnan ja IT:n strategiseen yhteensovittamiseen
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Mäntylä, Martti, Supervising Professor
  • Mäntylä, Martti, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6849-7
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6850-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • IT governance
  • strategic alignment
  • business value of IT


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