Organizational Culture: Another Piece of the IT-Business Alignment Puzzle

The challenges associated with achieving a better fit between an organization's information technology (IT) strategy and its business strategy – most commonly known as "IT-business alignment" – have earned this issue a place as an IT management perennial top ten concern for organizational executives. Not surprisingly, the problems associated with attaining higher levels of IT-business alignment have received continuing notice in IT-related trade journals. A stream of research in the management information systems (MIS) literature includes multiple studies exploring the IT-business alignment construct and attempting to identify solutions for achieving a needed degree of alignment. Two dimensions of IT-business alignment, structural and strategic, have been proposed and studied in some detail, but the relationship between informal organizational structure as indicated by organizational culture and the achievement of IT-business alignment has yet to be empirically explored.
This research reported here breaks new ground by evaluating the relationship between the degree of congruence of the perspectives of the prevailing organizational culture and the level of strategic alignment maturity perceived in organizations. The results reveal a significant association between executives' level of agreement on the prevailing organizational culture and the level of strategic alignment maturity of the firms in the sample: firms with more congruent cultures had higher levels of strategic alignment maturity. The study results hold two implications for the field of management information systems. First, the potential of a third dimension of the achievement of IT-business alignment, congruence of organizational culture, was supported. Second, the results indicate the need for a continuation of research to further investigate the potential of this relationship for improving an organization's IT-business alignment