Taking up three Challenges to Business-IT Alignment Research by the Use of Activity Theory

Creators: Weeger, Andy and Haase, Ulrich
Title: Taking up three Challenges to Business-IT Alignment Research by the Use of Activity Theory
Item Type: Article
Projects: HealthIT, CROSS
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of IT/Business Alignment and Governance
Date: 2016
Divisions: Informationsmanagement
Abstract: This paper offers a novel view on the business-IT alignment that takes on the three major challenges of prior research: theory, process and applicability. The theoretical deliberations and empirical data of a single in-depth case study shows that taking an activity theoretical lens offers a way to conceptualize the mechanisms, triggers and complexities of business-IT alignment that enhance our understanding of the alignment process and reveal important implications for practice. Building on activity theory and the notion of interrelated activity systems, the authors propose to view business and IT as two distinct, yet related activity systems that co-evolve over time. Moreover, they show that business-IT alignment can be understood as a process of continuous adjustments between the two collective, pragmatic, contested and situated activity systems of business and IT. Examining data spanning six years of transformation processes, the authors systematically increase their understanding of the processes and underlying mechanisms of aligning business and IT. These insights are facilitated via the conceptualization of the alignment as a process aimed to reduce contradictions and tensions within and between the linked activity systems of business and IT. The theoretical deliberations and empirical evidence show that AT provides a strong theoretical foundation and a robust framework that is able to facilitate rigorous process-oriented studies, whose findings can guide endeavors of detecting and approaching misalignments in practice.
Citation:

Weeger, Andy and Haase, Ulrich (2016) Taking up three Challenges to Business-IT Alignment Research by the Use of Activity Theory. International Journal of IT/Business Alignment and Governance, 7 (2). ISSN 1947-9611

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item