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The Social Antecedents of Business/IT Alignment: Reviewing the Role of Social Network Structure in Alignment Research

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  • Katja Walentowitz

    (University of Bamberg, Germany)

  • Daniel Beimborn

    (University of Bamberg, Germany)

Abstract

Business/IT alignment is a major source of business value generated from IT and social structures at the interface between a firm’s business and IT units are of vital importance to business/IT alignment. Yet, there is a substantial gap in understanding the nature of these social structures. Based on a literature review comprising all related articles published in the AIS Senior Scholars’ Basket journals between January 2000 and August 2011, this paper identifies antecedents of alignment related to social network structure. These are translated into formal SNA concepts. The identification and formalization of social network structures allow IT governance to implement social engineering mechanisms influencing the social network structure, thus improving business/IT alignment and IT value. Examples for such translated arguments are high degree centrality of CIOs vis-à -vis other executives and strong ties in terms of cross-domain knowledge between CIOs and other executives. Finally, important avenues for future research are highlighted.

Suggested Citation

  • Katja Walentowitz & Daniel Beimborn, 2011. "The Social Antecedents of Business/IT Alignment: Reviewing the Role of Social Network Structure in Alignment Research," International Journal of IT/Business Alignment and Governance (IJITBAG), IGI Global, vol. 2(2), pages 15-32, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jitbag:v:2:y:2011:i:2:p:15-32
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