Current status of the research area

1 Chapter 2: CURRENT STATUS OF THE RESEARCH AREA

The literature review will be based on the research into alignment of business and IT strategies. Alignment is divided into two distinct areas end state (static) or process driven (dynamic).

4.1 W hat is alignment?

There is no consensus on the terminology used in publications to define alignment between business and IT strategies. Terms like fit, harmony, linkage, fusion, congruence, synchronised and integration are frequently used synonymously with the term alignment,(Henderson and Venkatraman (1993),Reich and Benbasat (1996),Luftman and Brier (1999).

1..1 Alignment definitions

Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) state that alignment is the degree of strategic fit and functional integration among the four domains of the SAM model viz Business strategy, IT strategy, Business infrastructure, and IT infrastructure.

Reich and Benbasat (1996) define alignment "the degree to which the IT mission, objectives, and plans support and are supported by the business mission, objectives, and plans."

Luftman and Brier (1999) said alignment is, "applying IT in an appropriate and timely way and in harmony with business strategies, goals, and needs".

Kaplan and Norton (2001a) discuss alignment in terms of synergies created between business units and the corporate headquarters. Synergy means that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

According to Avison,Jones,Powell and Wilson (2004) alignment is seen to assist a firm in three ways: by maximising return on IT investment, by helping to achieve competitive advantage through IS, and by providing direction and flexibility to react to new opportunities.

None of these definitions speak specifically about measuring alignment the basis of this research.

4.1 Alignment dimensions

Reading the literature reveals several dimensions of alignment for example strategic/intellectual, structural, social and cultural.

1..1 Strategic and intellectual dimensions

The dimensions (scope or magnitude) of strategic alignment refer to the degree to which the business strategy and plans, and the IT strategy and plans, are in congruence with each other, Chan and Reich (2007). Alignment of strategy facilitates the development of Business and IT plans, Avison et al. (2004)

The intellectual dimension of Business and IT alignment refers to how internally consistent and externally valid the Business and IT plans are. These plans need to be formal and documented for alignment to occur. Reich and Benbasat (2000) define intellectual alignment in terms of "the state in which a high quality set of inter-related IT and Business plans exist." These plans are used to facilitate strategic alignment as stated previously.

Reich and Kaarst-Brown (2003) looked at how transferring IT personal to other departments realized benefits in terms of intellectual capital. They found that there was an increase in IT knowledge when these employees were transferred to other departments. This led to retention of IT staff and also IT innovation. Organizational advantage was realized from this intervention.

1..2 Structural dimensions

Bergeron,Raymond and Rivard (2001) found that more complex IT structures (the interrelation or arrangement of parts in a complex entity) are not necessarily superior, but that increasing structural complexity in conjunction with a stronger IT management can increase competitive positions in terms of growth and profitability. This approach which is more entrepreneurial and risk-taking tend to have a decentralized IT structure.

Structural alignment according to Chan and Reich (2007) refers to the degree of structural fit between IT and the Business, and these maybe centralized, decentralized or hybrid in nature.

1..3 Informal structure

Chan and Reich (2007) found that the informal structure between IT and Business managers was of great importance in improving IT alignment and performance. The informal structure was defined by Chan and Reich (2007) as "relationship-based structures that transcend the formal division of labour and coordination of tasks", meaning improving the Business and IT executives informal relationships. Chan suggested that organization rather spend more time improving the informal structures than on aligning formal structures as this would be more enduring.

1..4 Social dimensions

Reich and Benbasat (1996) conducted a study of measurement issues associated with social (relating to human society and its modes of organization) dimension of linkage. They describe the social linkage as the understanding of business objectives and plans by the Business and IT executives. The key social linkages they researched were:

  • Cross references between written IT and Business plans
  • Understanding of common objectives by IT and Business executives
  • Shared vision among executives for long term objectives of technology deployment
  • Executives rating of the linkage of the social dimension.

They wanted to understand the short and long term measures of the social dimension of linkage. The conclusion was that in the short term, the common objectives of executives and in the long term- the shared vision were found to be the most promising measures of social linkage. between Business and IT executives.

In a later study Reich and Benbasat (2000) researched the influence of the social dimension on alignment between Business and IT. Using the short and long term conclusions described above. The outcome was that the influence on the short term was found to be, shared domain knowledge, IT implementation success, communication between executives and IT planning. Shared domain of knowledge was found to influence the longer term.

Reich and Benbasat (2000) state that the social dimension refers to : "the state in which Business and IT executives within an organizational unit understand and are committed to the Business and IT mission, objectives, and plans".

1..5 Cultural dimension

Corporate culture is defined as the norms of behaviour and shared values that allow every organization's employees, at every level, to work together successfully toward a common goal.

Burn (1993) advocates a cultural audit to examine the relationships between organizational and IT strategy formulation processes. This was called an organisational cultural audit (OCA). This comprised two audit cultural checks; first an Organizational strategy and structure and the other IT strategy and structures. This framework was used to research the interdependencies between Organisational strategy and It strategy.

Luftman (2001) states that attaining a trusting environment between the businesses and IT, where risks are shared and innovation and entrepreneurship thrive, is essential to achieve improvements in diverse business cultures.

Sledgianowski and Luftman (2005) identifies the following management cultural practices; cultural and social environment, pervasiveness of a change readiness culture and innovation to assess an organisations strategic alignment maturity to enhance alignment between Business and IT strategies.

4.1 Levels of alignment

Kaplan and Norton (1996) shows that an organisation that is able focus on its strategy is one that is able translate its strategy to operational terms. It ensures that all levels of the organisation are involved, the strategic, tactical and operational.

Tan and Gallupe (2006) found a linkage between Business and IT at the operational level of alignment. Their research found that the higher the level of shared cognition between the respective executives resulted in higher levels of alignment between Business and IT and vice versa. This is similar to Reich and Benbasat (2000) shared domain of knowledge perspective of the social dimension of alignment.

1..1 Internal vs external alignment

The SAM model Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) recommended that the organization interact with its external environment by means of strategic fit, the interrelationship between external and internal components. Strategic fit is not only the business interacting with the external environment but also significantly Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) suggest that IT strategy also has a role in interacting with the external environment. Internally the alignment is by means of functional integration, the integration between functional domains. The predominant IT strategy is internally focused Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) state that IT strategy needs be more externally focussed for the organisation to gain competitive advantage.

Luftman and Kempaiah (2007) assert for strategic alignment maturity to be optimised, externally IT should interact with the company's business partners, customer's and clients by extending it's reach to accommodate the value chains of said customers and suppliers. This is not normal as IT strategy is normally internally focussed.

4.1 Alignment models

Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) the creators of the SAM which is the most cited model is based on four domains of strategic choice namely Business and IT strategy and organisational and IT infrastructure and processes.

Luftman (2001) proposes five levels of strategic alignment maturity in his SAMM model namely (1) Initial/ad hoc process; (2) committed process; (3) established focused process; (4) improved/managed process; and (5) optimized process. Six criteria are identified to measure the level of maturity these are, communication, competency/value, governance, partnership, scope and architecture and skills. Each criteria is assessed individually and then combined to give an overall average. Luftman (2001) recommends that both Business and It executives participate in this assessment.

Kaplan and Norton (2004) propose using their BSC model together with strategy maps to ensure all in the organisation are aligned. This is one of their five principles to ensure organisations are focussed on their strategy.

These three models form the basis of this research and will dealt with in more detail in a later chapter.

4.1 Variance MODELS: antecedents and outcomes

In the literature about alignment, alignment is seen as a single event or as a process which evolves over time and is thus continuously adapting and changing, Henderson and Venkatraman (1993)

This section deals with factor models (events), highlighting antecedents or drivers of alignment and then the outcomes that can be expected when alignment is achieved and finally process models and variables are described

1..1 Antecedents to alignment

Background antecedents (precursors to alignment) are corporate culture, shared domain of knowledge and prior experience with IT, Chan and Reich (2007). Similarly foreground antecedents (the visible behaviours that influence alignment) include leadership approach, planning processes, skills, competence and communication styles, Chan and Reich (2007).

1..2 Background antecedents

Reich and Benbasat (2000) found that two background antecedents shared domain knowledge and IT implementation success influenced behaviours such as communication between IT and Business executives and connections between IT and Business planning. These four factors were antecedents to short-term alignment but only shared domain knowledge was an antecedent to long-term alignment Reich and Benbasat (2000).

In addition, the existence of clear business plans influenced both short-term and long-term alignments.

1..3 Foreground antecedents/behaviours

Reich and Benbasat (1996) found that if leadership did not share common knowledge, that is speak the same language then leadership is abdicated.

Mobilising change through executive leadership is proposed by Kaplan and Norton (1996). Change been proposed and implemented from an executive stands a greater chance of success. Therefore an executive sponsor is essential to the successful of implementation of alignment. This is the number one enabler of alignment between Business strategy and IT strategy Luftman and Brier (1999).

To achieve and sustain Business and IT alignment Luftman and Brier (1999) found that the enablers were senior manager's support for IT, IT leadership, IT understands the business, partnership between Business and IT. Preston,Chen and Leidner (2008) found a strong correlation in the partnership between the CIO and Business executives, influenced the CIO's level of decision making authority. The connections between Business and IT planning Reich and Benbasat (1996) were only found to influence the alignment in the short term.

Research by Luftman (2001) revealed that integrating the IT strategic planning process with the strategic business process allowed the organisation to achieve a higher alignment maturity level.

Teo and Ang (1999) states that there are few studies on the critical success factors for aligning Business plans with IT plans. The results of their research found that top management is committed to the strategic use of IT to be the top critical success factor. The other critical success factors are in table 1

Table 1 Critical success factors in the alignment of IS plans with Business plans Teo and Ang (1999)

  • Top management is committed to the strategic use of IT
  • Information systems (IS) management understands the business
  • Top management has confidence in the IS department
  • The IS department provides efficient and reliable services to user departments
  • There is frequent communication between user and IS departments
  • The IS strategies are able to keep up with advances in IT
  • Business and IS management work together in partnership in prioritizing applications development
  • Business goals and objectives are made known to IS management
  • The IS department is responsive to user needs
  • Top management is knowledgeable about IT
  • The IS department often comes up with creative ideas on how to use IT strategically
  • The corporate business plan is made available to IS management

Communication was identified by (Reich and Benbasat (2000),Sledgianowski and Luftman (2005)) to be a key antecedent to alignment. Sledgianowski and Luftman (2005) stated that communication should be pervasive and regularly occurring task of all managers and employees. They advocated that this communication be informal and use email, videoconferencing and face to face communication.

1..4 Outcomes of alignment

IT alignment plays a key role in the business because of its potential impact on a firm's performance. Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) argue that the inability to realize value from IT investments is in part due to the lack of alignment between Business and IT strategies. Furthermore Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) state that economic value is dependent on management's ability to create strategic fit in the organization. Research by Luftman and Kempaiah (2007)found a positive correlation between Business and IT alignment as regards firm's performance. The BSC was initially developed as a performance management tool Kaplan and Norton (1992). The BSC was developed to counter a reliance by organisations on only financial performance measures.

1..5 Organisational Performance

Using the strategic topology developed by Miles,Snow,Meyer and Coleman Jr (1978), Croteau and Bergeron (2001) found a positive link between strategic activities and organizational performance for organizations with prospector strategies, and a negative link for organizations with reactor strategies.Bergeron,Raymond and Rivard (2004) states that organisational performance is the result of fit between two or more factors for example strategy, technology, culture and the environment. Chan,Sabherwal and Thatcher (2006) found empirical evidence to prove that alignment improved organizational performance, but stress that "not all firms are equally served by allocating scarce resources to improve IT alignment."

Tallon and Kraemer (2002) states there is little empirical evidence to prove the organisational benefits obtained from alignment. Tallon and Kraemer (2002) found that alignment in some cases did not translate into an increase in business performance. In what they called the "Alignment Paradox" whereby strategic alignment leads to increased performance up to a certain point and beyond this point performance decreases. This was ascribed to organisational inflexibility and environmental uncertainty. Organisations that are tightly aligned will not have the flexibility to react to change and to adapt during turbulent times.

Preston et al. (2008) found that the CIO strategic decision-making authority leads to IT's contribution to organizational performance. Chan et al. (2006) indicates that there is no standard method for improving alignment and that organisational size, type of strategy and industry all had an influence on performance in alignment.

4.1 Contingency perspective

Contingency theory Teo and King (1997) is based on the idea that there is not a best way to achieve "fit" between organisational factors. Results of studies carried out by Teo and King (1997) confirmed an evolutionary pattern of integration of Business planning and IT planning from administrative, sequential, reciprocal, to full integration. Teo and King (1997) also came to the conclusion that the competence of the IT executive was a key factor in influencing the extent of integration.

Contingency Theory according to Chan and Reich (2007) facilitates alignment when context and business factors fit together. These factors produce superior performance when integrated in certain contexts, Chan and Reich (2007). This supported by Bechor and Glezer (2009) used contingency theory to investigate the success of strategic information system planning (SISP) as a function of key success factors (KSF) with different approaches and contexts. Bechor and Glezer (2009) also stated that integration among various design dimensions of the planning process of (SISP) was not understood, nor identified and had no empirically support.

1..1 Industry

Chan et al. (2006) found that precursors to alignment were contingent to the industry in which the business operated. The key research contribution Chan et al. (2006) was the empirical demonstration that the importance of alignment, as well as the mechanisms used to attain alignment, vary by business strategy and industry. Furthermore Chan et al. (2006) state not all firms are equally well served by allocating scarce resources to improve IS alignment. Among business firms, it would appear that Prospectors and Analyzers Miles et al. (1978) have more to gain from aligning business and IS strategies

1..2 Organizational size

Chan et al. (2006) found that organisational size impacted private companies but had no influence on academic intuitions size. This was because in academic institutions the leaders had similar qualifications as well as similar organisational structures and processes Chan et al. (2006). This contrasts with large businesses which have more organizational slack to invest in aligning business and IS strategies than their smaller counterparts Chan et al. (2006). To overcome the organisational slack in large organisations Chan et al. (2006) suggest that managers invest more resources on specific alignment mechanisms.

1..3 Strategic orientation

Miles et al. (1978) defined a typology for business strategy whereby business's are classified as prospector, analyser, defender or reactor. Croteau and Bergeron (2001) did an empirical study to identify various profiles of technological deployment related to various types of business strategy that best support organisational performance. Using the Miles et al. (1978) topology they found that an outward technological profile had a positive impact on organisational performance for the prospector and analyzer business strategy. The inward profile for technological deployment had and indirect impact on organisational performance for the prospector business strategy, Avison et al. (2004) research revealed a strong correlation between alignment and performance for prospectors and analysers but not for defenders. Importantly Chan et al. (2006) found that the type of business strategy approaches had an impact on the importance of alignment. Their study revealed that prospectors had a lower alignment than analyzers.

1..4 Turbulence

An economic downturn, merger and acquisition brings about uncertainty, change and fear in the organisation Gartner (2007). Organisations with high levels of alignment maturity Luftman and Kempaiah (2007) recognised the need for effective change management process where the IT and Business work together effectively. Kaplan and Norton (2001b) states that thee Balanced scorecard is not a measure project but a change management project. Kaplan and Norton (2001b) found that several adopting companies of the balanced scorecard were experiencing difficult times and that the need for change was to overcome the threat of failure and loss of jobs.

4.1 process models of Alignment

Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) describe alignment not as an event but as a process of continuous adaptation and change. A comparison is now done on the classic versus the processual schools of thought.

1..1 Classic versus processual schools of thought

The classical school Whittington (2001) is based on a model of rational adaptation. The core ideas are organisations are market driven and adapt to circumstances occurring in the external environment. IT is viewed as are source to be utilised according to the requirements of the external environment recognising the contingencies of technology and it's potential impact on Business strategy.

Contrasting the classical view Chan and Reich (2007) state that the processual approach rejects formal plans and methodologies, exposes hidden social values, political interest and structural inertia, which shape formal instruments of rationality and identifies the role of IT as a resource and an instrument for gaining power and not achieving adaptation.

1..2 Continuous management of specific organizational components

Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) identified four dominant alignment perspectives; strategy execution, technology transformation, competitive potential and service level with their related interrelationships. The interrelationship needs to be integrated among the factors. Service levels agreements between IT and Business are recommended by Luftman (2001) . This entails entering into measurable agreements with the Business for IT service delivery. The highest level of maturity for service level agreements is when it is enterprise wide and involves external partners Luftman (2001).Sledgianowski and Luftman (2005) supports service level agreements and recommends continuous review of service levels agreements between Business and IT.

Luftman and Brier (1999) identified enablers and inhibitors of alignment and suggests that executives focus on those that would enable alignment for example executive support for IT, IT supports Business development and IT understands the business.

The balanced scorecard has four interrelated perspectives Kaplan and Norton (1996) which are used in a cause and effect relationship to align strategy. These cause and effect interrelationships between the four perspectives overcomes a previous reliance on only financial outcomes as a key determinant of business performance Kaplan and Norton (1992).

4.1 Modeling alignment over time

These include stages of growth, lead-lag and punctuated equilibrium models

1..1 Stages of growth

Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) state that IT strategy was previously internally focussed mainly viewed as a support function. Business now recognises the strategic importance of IT. IT strategy focussed on the external domain is now a feature of the growth of IT within the organisation. The external perspectives of IT strategy are that of competitive potential and service level.

Kaplan and Norton (2006) developed levels of excellence for their strategic management model that measures maturity in five perspectives; mobilize, translate, align, motivate and govern. The higher the level of maturity reflects the growth of the organisation in meeting the requirements of this best practice model. In the alignment perspective they recommend that all in the organisation are aligned to the Business Strategy and this includes IT Strategy.

Luftman and Kempaiah (2007) recognises that maturity of alignment between Business and IT will give the business competitive advantage. According to the authors the higher the level of maturity the more improved the alignment.

1..2 The lead-lag model

Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) states that no single application no matter how advanced or sophisticated can deliver sustained competitive advantage to an organisation. Advantage is obtained when an organisation continually improves it's IT functionality on a continuous basis. This leads an organisation in it's quest for continuous improvement in IT functionality and changing role of IT.

Luftman and Brier (1999) suggests that executives meet and brainstorm, to identify the gaps in Business and IT strategies. This session leads to a prioritised list of IT projects that can enhance business opportunity.

The BSC Kaplan and Norton (1992) was developed to address the lead lag implications. Specifically finance indicators were viewed lag indicators and the other three perspectives as leading indicators of future organisational performance.

1..3 Punctuated Equilibrium

Sabherwal,Hirschheim and Goles (2001) used a punctuated equilibrium model to investigate the dynamics of change in alignment through strategy interactions .The punctuated equilibrium model is a long term or evolutionary change interrupted by short periods or revolutionary change. Sabherwal et al. (2001) found that revolutionary change affected long term change. The reason for this is that either alignment is entrenched or managers do not recognise low alignment as a problem.

The short term dynamic change (revolutions) Avison et al. (2004) needed a combination of the following interventions; environmental shifts, sustained low performance, influential outsiders, strong leadership and perceptual transformation.

4.1 What are the Challenges in attaining alignment?

1..1 Alignment challenges related to knowledge

Business managers are not always knowledgeable about IT and IT executives are not always involved with developing business strategies. To address this issue Luftman and Brier (1999) suggest in their enablers for Business and IT alignment that business executives support IT, that there is a partnership established between business and IT and that IT understands the business.

The other challenges identified by Chan and Reich (2007)

  • Corporate strategy is not known
  • Lack of awareness in the importance of alignment
  • Lack of industry and business knowledge
  • Alignment challenges related to locus of control and the status of IT
  • Alignment challenges related to organisational change

4.1 WHAT ARE the shortcomings of alignment?

Research carried out in Information systems was predominantly positivist and of an objective nature (Orlikowski and Baroudi (1991)

Ciborra (1997) is critical of alignment literature stating that it is too theoretical to be practical in the real world of human actors. Furthermore Ciborra (1997) says that the everyday life of managers comprises frustration, accomplishments, gossips, confusion, bricolage, joy and desperation. This is far removed from the sterile theoretical environment of literature on alignment. A more practical understanding of strategies of care, hospitality and cultivation by managers is recommended by Ciborra (1997) as opposed to strategic alignment as proposed by theoreticians

Chan and Reich (2007) identified the arguments why alignment is not always desirable in the following themes;

  1. alignment research is mechanistic and fails to capture real life,
  2. alignment is not possible if the business strategy is unknown or in process,
  3. alignment is not desirable as an end in itself since the business must always change, and
  4. IT should often challenge the business, not follow it..

Since the most cited alignment paper by Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) was published, Leonard (2008) asserts that the world of alignment has radically transformed. Leonard (2008) states that the current organisational contexts are

* Blurring of boundaries between IS and the business function

According to Leonard (2008) the SAM model does not address the blurring of boundaries between domains. The SAMM model depends on a organisational view which may not always be beneficial.

* Unpredictability regarding the consequences of technology led change

The SAM model is deterministic and does not engage with unpredictability of technology led change. Some of the factors of the SAMM model are also deterministic for example governance whilst communication can assist an organisation dealing with unpredictability of technology led change. The punctuated equilibrium Sabherwal et al. (2001) model allows for several types of change to be examined. The coevolutionary model focuses on interactions in rapidly changing environments Benbya and McKelvey (2006)

* Strategising in situations of very rapid change.

The SAM does not support discrete business strategy driving an IT strategy and vice versa as it is seen to be to deterministic Leonard (2008). The SAMM model does not address this problem. The coevoluntionary model has the potential to address this problem if it is correctly defines and develops the concepts of Business and IT strategy Benbya and McKelvey (2006)

4.1 How IS ALIGNMENT measureD ?

For Chan and Reich (2007) the measurement of alignment is important for example it allows practitioners to mange alignment more readily and for academics it allows for reliable and valid measures if their alignment research is to be rigorous. Several different approaches have been used to assess alignment, including typologies and taxonomies, fit models, survey items, mathematical calculations and qualitative assessments Chan and Reich (2007)

..1 Typologies and taxonomies

Miles et al. (1978) identified four strategic types of organisations Defenders, Analyzers, Prospectors and Reactors. These typologies which are deductive, intuitive groupings or classifications of phenomena are used to measure business strategy and predict the appropriate IT strategy Chan and Reich (2007).

Gutierrez,Orozco and Serrano (2008) proposed a taxonomy structure, which are groupings based on the results of intuitive, empirical analyses Sabherwal and Chan (2001). The taxonomy has theoretical and practical capabilities to support comparative mechanisms of analysis Gutierrez et al. (2008). Insights into alignment assessments are achieve by means of six theoretical and six practical constructors.

1..2 Fit models

Venkatraman (1989) identified a conceptual model which is central to the study of strategic management and identified six perspectives of strategic fit namely fit as: moderation, mediation, matching, gestalts, profile deviation and covariation.. The problem Venkatraman (1989) identified was the inconsistent use of the perspectives for example researchers often used one perspective in a theoretical discussion whilst employing another in empirical research. Venkatraman's framework classifies these characterizations based on the number of variables in the equation, the degree of specificity of the functional form of alignment, and the presence or absence of a criterion variable.

Baker,Cao,Jones and Song (2009) identified these six perspectives of alignment as an end state perspective

1..3 Prescriptive measures for achieving alignment

Nickels (2004) found in the literature research three recurring prescriptive measures for improving the achievement of better Business and IT alignment. Those prescriptive measures involve strategically positioning IT within the organization, linking and integrating IT and business strategic planning processes and ensuring the congruence of strategic IT initiatives with the corporate vision.

1..4 BSC for measuring alignment

Van der Zee and De Jong (1999) states that the BSC can be a valuable contributor to implementation of an integrated Business and IT planning and evaluation process. They identify two main problems in Business and IT management namely the time lag between Business and IT planning and the lack of "common language" between Business and IT. They recommend the BSC to resolve these problems for the following reasons

Business and IT management can use the same "performance measurement" language, thereby integrating IT planning and evaluation fully into the business context. The BSC introduces overall goals and quantified norms for the whole business including IT.

Integrating the business and IT management processes eliminates, or at least considerably reduces, the time lag between the two.

Kaplan and Norton (1996) identified four specific barriers to effective BSC implementation that have to be overcome:

  • Visions and strategies that is not actionable;
  • Strategies that are not linked to departmental, team, and individual goals;
  • Strategies that are not linked to long- and short-term resource allocation;
  • Feedback that is tactical, not strategic

Braam and Nijssen (2008) distinguishes between the BSC as a performance measurement system Kaplan and Norton (1992) and as a strategic management system Kaplan and Norton (1996). Their research revealed that top management involvement and the influence of the finance department are critical for both implementations of the BSC. Braam and Nijssen (2008) researched the two implementations of the BSC in terms of three antecedents namely, leadership characteristics of the organization's management, internal organizational characteristics, and external company characteristics. They find that the usage of the BSC as a strategic management system ensure alignment.

4.1 Conclusion

As can be seen from the extensive literature review on the alignment between Business and IT there are many approaches. This research will concentrate on the measurement of alignment. There is little or no research on the integrated usage of the SAM, SAMM and BSC models to measure alignment. The theories to support this approach will be reviewed in the next chapter

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