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Title: A framework for aligning business and IT from multi-level learning perspective
Author: Balhareth, Hamad Hussain
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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Business and IT strategic alignment is increasingly acknowledged as a key factor in organisational performance. To measure performance, strategic alignment has two central approaches, which are process and content. Research in this regard has usually been concerned with either strategy process or strategy content, but this has only produced an unclear understanding of the impact of business and IT alignment on performance, Several studies investigating organisational performance have been carried out from the perspective of strategic alignment content. A major drawback of all of the strategy alignment studies is that they overlook process perspective. Relatively few attempts have been made at investigating the strategic alignment process. Logically, these studies might have been more useful if the authors had included both strategic perspectives as mechanisms needed to enable a better understanding of business and IT alignment and its impact on performance. Therefore, the aim of my research is to integrate the content and process of strategic alignment from a multi-level learning perspective to better understand the impact on business performance. The rationale behind combining strategy content and strategy process is the quest to understand the intertwined concepts connected to performance; strategic content is influenced by process, while process strategies are, in turn, sensitive to content. Therefore, this research presents organisational learning (OL) as a mechanism to integrate the process and content of strategic alignment from a multi-level learning perspective. The main goal of multi-level theorising in organisational learning is to identify elements that assist in achieving a unified understanding of phenomena that occur across all levels in organisations. The framework of Business and IT Alignment from Multi-level Learning Perspective (BITA-MLP) defines strategic alignment at various levels, viewing it as a strategy process that interacts with the exploration and exploitation perspectives of strategy content. Strategic alignment from a multi-level learning perspective includes knowledge creation, knowledge interpretation, knowledge sharing and knowledge utilisation as a process. Strategy content refers to exploration that engages the knowledge of individuals, groups and the organisation to trigger changes in non-human elements such as strategy, structure, culture and infrastructure. In addition, exploitation reflects the effect of the knowledge embedded in non-human elements on individuals, groups and the organisation. We collected and used evidence from a number of organisations to design and test the instruments or our framework. Several companies engaged in different economic activities were used as case studies to lessen industry-based bias and to ensure individuals interviewed held as diverse perceptions as possible and that a wide a range of strategy levels and content types was included. Evidence collected in this regard came from different sources including surveys, interviews and documentation. The triangulation of sources has allowed us to identify deficient capabilities that each company needs to work on if they are to satisfactorily align their business and IT strategies and be rewarded by achieving better business performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available