Achieving Social Alignment between Business and IT - An Empirical Evaluation of the Efficacy of IT Governance Mechanisms

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Schlosser, Frank
Beimborn, Daniel
Weitzel, Tim
Wagner, Heinz-Theo
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Palgrave Macmillan
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How can firms improve the degree of social alignment between their business and IT units? Many years of research have shown the importance of business-IT alignment and its various facets, yet research on the efficacy of IT governance mechanisms to improve business-IT alignment is scarce. In this paper, we develop a model of social alignment at an operational level that considers the degree of social capital between an organization's business and IT units, IT personnel's business understanding, and a set of formal and informal IT governance mechanisms that drive the creation of social alignment and business value. Using survey data from 132 U.S. banks, we show that social alignment is driven to varying degrees by a broad variety of IT governance mechanisms ranging from top management support and IT representation on the executive board to joint IT planning and IS trainings, regular meeting cycles and liaison units. Our research contributes substantially to the practical demand on business-IT alignment research for an effective toolkit of IT governance mechanisms.