Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Rajiv Sabherwal, PhD


Balser Deborah

Lacity Mary

Mirchandani Dinesh


The alignment between business and information systems’ strategies (strategic IS alignment) has occupied researchers’ and practitioners’ interest over the past two decades. This is due to the belief that strategic IS alignment positively affects business performance. However, despite the concerted effort in seeking to understand the alignment phenomenon, executives in organizations continue to complain of the difficulty in achieving and sustaining alignment. This may be due to a lack of a comprehensive model of alignment that takes into account its dynamic nature and the factors that affect it over time. Therefore, this study seeks to add to our accumulated knowledge by proposing a functional form for the alignment trajectory and identifying some factors that may affect or predict the dynamic changes between organizations’ alignment trajectories. The study used longitudinal data drawn from several public databases and developed and tested a random coefficients model of strategic IS alignment. The results indicate that alignment is a nonlinear, dynamic phenomenon that is affected by prior IS success, and change in CIO, organizational size, and industry uncertainty. The findings suggest that prior IS success is associated with high initial magnitudes of strategic IS alignment and low rates of change in the strategic IS alignment trajectory. In addition, the findings suggest that CIO turnover is associated with higher initial levels of strategic IS alignment and high (and negative) rates of change in the strategic IS alignment trajectory. The results also show that larger organizations are associated with higher magnitudes of strategic alignment and that firms in stable industry environments, on average, have higher initial magnitudes of strategic IS alignment than firms in uncertain industry environments.

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