Development of a configurational model on information systems strategic alignment : a Hong Kong study
The strategic information systems (IS) literature often suggests that there is a need to align IS strategy with business strategy. However, three major limitations in the study of IS strategic alignment have not been adequately addressed. First, IS strategic alignment is usually not well-defined. Second, there are few research studies on appropriate measures of IS strategic alignment. Third, the significance and benefits of IS strategic alignment are difficult to determine. This thesis develops a configurational model on IS strategic alignment that evaluates not only the internal consistencies between IS strategy and business strategy but also contingency approaches to different types of IS strategic alignment. The four alignment types are Business-strategy-led, Conservative, Organisation-led and Technology-led. Quantitative assessments on survey data indicate that there is a relationship between alignment types and IS planning factors, as well as significant differences in IS strategic planning characteristics among the four alignment types. More effective and less effective indicators for both IS strategic planning and IS success have been identified. Qualitative analyses from the survey and multiple case study evaluations have identified good practices and pitfalls to avoid in IS strategic planning, as well as the change processes in the migration of one alignment type to another. The enhancement of the IS strategic alignment configurational model incorporates the "middle-fit" alignment type so that the configurational characteristics could be more distinctive, and the extension of the alignment theory to a capabilitybased resource alignment model by matching users' information management experience against the IT department's capability to develop and deliver high quality IS. Further research initiatives have been also been identified.