Effective management of IT required planning
processes that create a high degree of business-IT alignment.
Business-IT strategic alignment is among the main management concerns
of information systems managers and corporate chief executives. The
problem is that alignment become difficult to implement as companies
strive to link business and technology in light of the
internationalization of their businesses. The purpose of IT strategic
alignment research is twofold: (a) identify the reasons why alignment
gaps exist between business goals and IT strategies, and (b) find a
fit between business objectives and IT plans by building an
integrated framework to explicate their interactive values.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the present positivistic
research study was to investigate business-IT strategic alignment in
a multinational corporation by examining (a) the role of knowledge
management processes in the relationship between contextual factors
and alignment, and (b) the role of IT projects in the relationship
between alignment and organizational performance and effectiveness.
This study used a field survey and structural equation
modeling (SEM) techniques to analyze data collected through the
stratified random sampling of 263 IT and business managers employed
in the U.N. Secretariat.
Implications to Leaders in MNCs
This study had several managerial implications for the
consideration of business executives and information systems managers
and provided insights to researchers on the issues of business-IT
strategic alignment in complex multinational organizations.
The results of this study have at least four implications to
leaders in MNCs:
(a) the effects of top managers’ knowledge
of IT on strategic business-IT alignment
(b) the importance of
business-IT alignment to organizational performance and effectiveness
(c) the importance of internal context and nature of the
organization to knowledge integration
(d) the role of senior
management in knowledge management and strategic management of IT.
Recommendations for Leadership
A theoretical and
practical perspective of business-IT strategic alignment in the U.N.
Secretariat is provided. The business-IT strategic alignment
implementation model for MNCs (mSAIM) is the model for application
proposed as critical recommendations of this research study.
The mSAIM model is a five-stage process or a roadmap for business-
IT strategic alignment. The mSAIM model draws upon the proposed
business-IT strategic alignment model for MNCs (mSAM) which covers
process and content perspectives of the interrelationship between
business and IT for this category of organizations.
Five-Stage Process of IT Strategic Alignment
process of IT strategic alignment covers process and content
perspectives of the interrelationship between business and IT in
MNCs. The process perspective includes the following dimensions: (a)
intellectual and social, (b) short- and long-term, (c) shared domain
knowledge, and (d) enablers and inhibitors. The content perspective
focused on the strategic orientation of business enterprises and the
strategic orientation of the existing portfolio of information
The five-stage process summarizes the steps for a
successful IT strategic alignment in MNCs. The process has five
stages, each of which is associated with one of the nine reasons
explaining IT projects failure. The steps are: clarifying the
strategic business orientation, developing leadership competencies of
business and IT managers, sharing knowledge, strategically planning
IT projects, and strategically managing IT and technological
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Two peer-reviewed articles and two books on
Business-IT strategic alignment for complex MNCs will be published