IT Strategic Alignment
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The development of information systems planning (ISP) research has evolved constantly since its beginning in the late 1960s and early1970s, and aims to illuminate the assimilation of computing technology in organizations. Whereas three different ISP maps, representing a set of models, have been considered, it was shown that the evolution of ISP can be subdivided into four eras.
Within the context of business-IT strategic alignment for multinational corporations (MNCs), strategic issues are influenced by the multinational dimension of the organization and are related to the tradeoff between external and internal applications and information scanning. Similarly, knowledge integration between IT and business managers is likely to facilitate the elaboration of corporate strategies and the provision of a model of the alignment-performance linkage. Other factors, which are closely associated to process perspective dimensions of IT strategic alignment, contribute to alignment. These factors can be categorized into intellectual and social, short- and long-term, shared domain knowledge, and enablers and inhibitors.
The process perspective of IT strategic alignment describes the approaches an organization follows in developing and implementing its business-IT strategic alignment. In contrast, the content of a strategy specifies its basic components and orientations. Business performance and IT effectiveness are the perceived outcomes of the alignment process. Quality of planning and successful implementation of IT projects can improve the performance and effectiveness of multinational corporations. Despite almost two decades of research, business-IT strategic alignment in a local context has continued to garner attention. But theoretical and empirical investigations of both content and process perspectives of alignment for multinational corporations (MNCs) have not been proposed.
This research study will address this limitation by drawing upon the strategic alignment model (SAM) and the typology of MNCs of Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) to propose and test an IT strategic alignment model for MNCs (or mSAM) using the United Nations Secretariat as a field study. Unlike other strategic alignment models, the strategic alignment model for multinational corporations (mSAM) will consider the organizations where the alignment takes place. Prior scholars noted that factors contributing to alignment depend on the nature of organizations and the complexity of these factors increases in multinational corporations.
In this study, I have reviewed 236 research studies including 201 scholarly journals, 10 dissertations, and 25 textbooks about business-IT strategic alignment for complex multinational corporations (MNCs). The study will address two questions: (a) based on the combination of knowledge and knowledge management processes, how do planning behaviors and the support of top-management of IT mediate the impacts of three contextual factors on business-IT strategic alignment in an MNC? (b) How do aspects of IT projects mediate the association between IT strategic alignment and MNC performance and effectiveness? Attempting to answer these questions, the research model reflects the (a) multinational context of business-IT alignment, (b) processes and outcomes of business-IT strategic alignment at functional levels, and (c) consequences of business-IT strategic alignment on multinational performance and effectiveness.
This research study will use structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques to analyze data collected through the stratified random sampling of two groups of IT and business managers. SEM techniques refer to a range of multivariate methods aimed at examining the underlying relationships (or structure) among multiple predictor and criterion variables in a model. A structural equation modeling process requires two steps: (a) building and testing a measurement model, and (b) building and testing a structural model. The measurement model serves to create a structural model including paths representing the hypothesized associations among the research constructs. In total, 53 items will measure the 10 constructs and general demographics based on the questionnaire developed from a comprehensive literature review.