Interpreting IS alignment: A multiple case study in professional organizations

Silva, L; Gonzalez-Reinhart J.; Figueroa B E.


This paper centers on the interpretation attributed by organizational members to the information systems (IS) alignment concept. Its objective is to study IS alignment in professional organizations. Specifically, it reports on an interpretive study conducted in five Chilean organizations; four professional and one entrepreneurial, of which two are private and three are public. The theoretical background of our study is derived from three IS strategic alignment conceptualizations: managerial, emergent and critical. These concepts formed our theoretical framework that guided data collection and analysis. The study centers on the meanings organizational members assigned to IS strategic alignment, as well as their views on the barriers that hinder achieving this level of organizational integration. The analysis results are summarized in seven hermeneutic themes that point out the different connotations the organizations assigned to IS alignment. The significance of the findings are summarized in four insights that formulate theoretical and practical implications. These insights refer to: (1) the difficulties of achieving alignment for professional organizations, particularly public ones, (2) the limitations these organizations have in being agile, (3) the rationale for acquiring technology and determining IT skills, and (4) the imperative meaning that CIOs attribute to IS alignment. The paper concludes with a reflection on the limitations and relevance of the research. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Título según SCOPUS: Interpreting IS alignment: A multiple case study in professional organizations
Título de la Revista: Information and Organization
Volumen: 17
Número: 4
Fecha de publicación: 2007
Página de inicio: 232
Página final: 265
Idioma: eng