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Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organizations

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2 Author(s)
J. C. Henderson ; Systems Research Center, School of Management, Boston University, 704 Commonwealth Avenue, Massachusetts 02215, USA ; H. Venkatraman

We have been asked on numerous occasions: “Which alignment perspective is the best?” As researchers and observers of strategic management phenomena, we do not believe that there is one universally superior mode to formulate and implement strategy. If there were, it would not be strategic because all firms would adopt it. The four dominant alignment perspectives that use the two strategies as the driver are equally useful and powerful in thinking about the role of I/T in organizational transformation. Indeed, we urge managers not to consider I/T as a panacea and consequently focus only on those two perspectives with I/T strategy as the starting point (namely, competitive potential and service level). Nor do we want to argue that business strategy should always be the starting point and adopt only the other two perspectives on strategic alignment. The potential for I/T impact is so varied and complex that the executive must consider these perspectives as alternative conceptual lenses and be prepared to continuously make adaptations.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 2.3 )