Network adjacency in shaping intra-organizational perceptions about strategic IT-business alignment

Pirkko Lahdelma

Tutkimustuotos: Doctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstrakti

The strategic alignment between IT and business has continued as one of the top concerns of IT executives for decades. One reason for alignment being such a persistent concern for IT executives can be the differing views on alignment level within companies. As the overall research question of this study is “What explains (dis-)similarities in the perceptions on strategic IT-business alignment within an organization”, the study focuses on the social
dimension of strategic IT-business alignment. The research question is divided into two sub-questions, in which the perceived IT-business alignment is examined in relation to following
constructs: interaction patterns and formal structures. The focus is especially on the adjacency in these structures. In addition, the objective is to search for alternative explanations for the
(dis-)similar perceptions of strategic IT-business alignment with the following constructs: perceived shared domain knowledge, relational similarity in age, education, gender, organizational tenure, and experiences from a recent IT-decision. The research methodology was to use quantitative methods designed for social network
analysis in one empirical research setting. Data was gathered by using a questionnaire. Formal structures, informal networks, and true interaction patterns within the company were discovered by sociometric questions. The results revealed that the department structure has a significant effect on the similarity in the perceived IT-business alignment between a pair of individuals. Ties in discussion and advice networks had an impact on the similarity in the perceived alignment but affection-based informal networks, such as friendship, or formal cross-functional structures, such as steering committees, did not produce significant results. Respondents’ age, education, gender, or organizational tenure did not to have any significant effect, either. Experiences from a past IT-decision were important factors for both similarity in the views and for the perceived alignment level. This study contributes to research as well as practice in several ways. First, the results
highlight the importance of a focus on the social dimension of strategic IT-business alignment. Secondly, a key principle of social network theory to focus on the relationships between individuals was added to alignment research. As a new construct for the alignment research, adjacency in work-related interaction patterns was found to have an effect on the similarity in the perceptions of strategic IT-business alignment, while also the functional department structure was confirmed to be an important factor. In terms of the managerial implications, the results highlight the importance of understanding the network dynamics within an
organization because they contribute to the formation of the perceptions of strategic IT-business alignment.
Julkaisun otsikon käännösNetwork adjacency in shaping intra-organizational perceptions about strategic IT-business alignment
AlkuperäiskieliEnglanti
PätevyysTohtorintutkinto
Myöntävä instituutio
  • Aalto-yliopisto
Valvoja/neuvonantaja
  • Tuunainen, Virpi, Vastuuprofessori
Kustantaja
TilaJulkaistu - 2013
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Tohtorinväitöskirja (monografia)

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