Exploration of the Misalignment Between Business and IT Strategic Objectives in Public-Sector Organisations: An Empirical Study in Saudi Arabia

  • Abulaziz AlGhaziEmail author
  • Mengxiang LiEmail author
  • Tingru CuiEmail author
  • Samuel FossoEmail author
  • Jun ShenEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 328)


Understanding business-IT strategy misalignment is an increasingly important area of research in digitalisation of different business sectors. However, there is currently a dearth of research investigations of misalignment between business and IT strategic objectives in public-sector organisations. Considering the nature of business, the structure of organisation, and the organisational resources of public-sector organisations, the investigation of business-IT misalignment can significantly enrich our theoretical exemplification of the relationship between business and IT in the public sector. Moreover, it provides some insights for managers to identify and avoid the possible pitfalls during the IT implementation process. Anchoring on the strategic alignment model, this research aims to identify and analyse the factors that contribute to business/IT strategy misalignment in Saudi Arabian public-sector organisations. Using a qualitative study design that included semi-structured interviews in five public-sector organisations in Saudi Arabia, our findings indicate that the human, operational, and IT system factors lead to business-IT strategy misalignment. This study also finds that those practical approaches for avoiding the misalignment in Saudi public-sector organisations sometimes lack structure and consistency.


IT strategy Business strategy Business and IT alignment Business and IT misalignment Public sector Saudi arabia 


  1. Al-Hatmi: Analysis of ICT Strategic Alignment in a Public Organisation. Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Business, Bond University, Australia (2012)Google Scholar
  2. AlShathry, O.: Business process management: a maturity assessment of Saudi Arabian organizations. Bus. Process Manage. J. 22, 507–521 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alshehri, M., Drew, S.: Challenges of e-government services adoption in Saudi Arabia from an e-ready citizen perspective. World Acad. Sci. Eng. Technol. 66, 1053–1059 (2010)Google Scholar
  4. Alsudiri, T., Al-Karaghouli, W., Eldabi, T.: Alignment of large project management process to business strategy: a review and conceptual framework. J. Enterp. Inf. Manage. 26, 596–615 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al Omari, L., Barnes, P.: It governance stability in a political changing environment: exploring potential impacts in the public sector. J. Inf. Technol. Manage. 25(3), 41–52 (2014)Google Scholar
  6. Aversano, L., Grasso, C., Tortorella, M.: A literature review of business/IT alignment strategies. Procedia Technol. 5, 462–474 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ayoup, H., Omar, N., Rahman, I.: Balanced scorecard and strategic alignment: a Malaysian case. Int. J. Econ. Financ. Issues 6(4S), 685–695 (2016)Google Scholar
  8. Bélanger, F., Carter, L.: Trust and risk in e-government adoption. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 17(2), 165–176 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benton, T.: Philosophical foundations of the three sociologies (RLE Social Theory). Routledge, London (2014)Google Scholar
  10. Clarke, V., Braun, V.: Teaching thematic analysis: overcoming challenges and developing strategies for effective learning. Psychologist 26(2), 120–123 (2013)Google Scholar
  11. Byrd, T.A., Lewis, B.R., Bryan, R.W.: The leveraging influence of strategic alignment on IT investment: an empirical examination. Inf. Manag. 43(3), 308–321 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coltman, T., Tallon, P., Sharma, R., Queiroz, M.: Strategic IT alignment: twenty-five years on. J. Inf. Technol. 30(2), 91–100 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Corsaro, D., Snehota, I.: Alignment and misalignment in business relationships. Ind. Mark. Manage. 40(6), 1042–1054 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cram, W.A., Brohman, M.K., Chan, Y.E., Gallupe, R.B.: Information systems control alignment: complementary and conflicting systems development controls. Inf. Manag. 53(2), 183–196 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Creswell, J.W.: Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage Publications (2013)Google Scholar
  16. Dulipovici, A., Robey, D.: Strategic alignment and misalignment of knowledge management systems: a social representation perspective. J. Manage. Inf. Syst. 29(4), 103–126 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dutta, S., Geiger, T., Lanvin, B.: Global information technology report 2015: ICTs for inclusive growth. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland (2015)Google Scholar
  18. El-Telbany, O., Elragal, A.: Business-information systems strategies: a focus on misalignment. Procedia Technol. 16(2), 250–262 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Enagi, M.A., Ochoche, A.: The role of enterprise architecture in aligning business and information technology in organisations: Nigerian government investment on information technology. Int. J. Eng. Technol. 3(1), 59–65 (2013)Google Scholar
  20. Esteves, J.M.: An empirical identification and categorisation of training best practices for ERP implementation projects. Enterp. Inf. Syst. 8(6), 665–683 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fichman, R.G., Melville, N.P.: How posture-profile misalignment in IT innovation diminishes returns: conceptual development and empirical demonstration. J. Manage. Inf. Syst. 31(1), 203–240 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gerow, J.E., Grover, V., Thatcher, J.B., Roth, P.L.: Looking toward the future of IT-business strategic alignment through the past: a meta-analysis. MIS Q. 38(4), 1059–1085 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Handley, S.M.: How governance misalignment and outsourcing capability impact performance. Prod. Oper. Manage. 26(1), 134–155 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heath, D., Singh, R., Shephard, B.: Approaching strategic misalignment from an organizational view of business processes. In: 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), pp. 4055–4064. IEEE (2013)Google Scholar
  25. Hinkelmann, K., Gerber, A., Karagiannis, D., Thoenssen, B., Van der Merwe, A., Woitsch, R.: A new paradigm for the continuous alignment of business and IT: combining enterprise architecture modelling and enterprise ontology. Comput. Ind. 79(2), 77–86 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Henderson, J.C., Venkatraman, H.: Strategic alignment: leveraging information technology for transforming organizations. IBM Syst. J. 32(1), 472–484 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Khaled, A., Renukappa, S., Suresh, S., Saeed, A.: Knowledge management practices in Saudi Arabian public sector organisations: a case of the ministry of justice. In: Benlamri, R., Sparer, M. (eds.) Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Driving Forces of the Global Economy. SPBE, pp. 445–459. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  28. Leonardi, P.M.: Why do people reject new technologies and stymie organizational changes of which they are in favor? Exploring misalignments between social interactions and materiality. Hum. Commun. Res. 35(3), 407–441 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Luftman, J.: Assessing business-IT alignment maturity. Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 4(14), 9–15 (2000)Google Scholar
  30. Luftman, J., Derksen, B.: Key issues for IT executives 2012: doing more with less. MIS Q. Executive 11(4), 207–218 (2012)Google Scholar
  31. Melnyk, S.A., Bititci, U., Platts, K., Tobias, J., Andersen, B.: Is performance measurement and management fit for the future? Manage. Acc. Res. 25(2), 173–186 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Martinez-Simarro, D., Devece, C., Llopis-Albert, C.: How information systems strategy moderates the relationship between business strategy and performance. J. Bus. Res. 68(7), 1592–1594 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Őri, D.: On exposing strategic and structural mismatches between business and information systems: misalignment symptom detection based on enterprise architecture model analysis. PhD thesis, Corvinus University, Budapest (2017) Accessed 23 Aug 2014
  34. Rai, A., Arikan, I., Pye, J., Tiwana, A.: Fit and misfit of plural sourcing strategies and IT-enabled process integration capabilities: consequences of firm performance in the US electric utility industry. MIS Q. 39(4), 865–885 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Renaud, A., Walsh, I., Kalika, M.: Is SAM still alive? A bibliometric and interpretive mapping of the strategic alignment research field. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 25(2), 75–103 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Reynolds, P., Yetton, P.: Aligning business and IT strategies in multi-business organizations. J. Inf. Technol. 30(2), 101–118 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schniederjans, M., Cao, Q.: Alignment of operations strategy, information strategic orientation, and performance: an empirical study. Int. J. Prod. Res. 47(10), 2535–2563 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shehry, A.A., Rogerson, S., Fairweather, N.B., Prior, M.: The key organisational issues affecting e-government adoption in Saudi Arabia. In: Weerakkody, V. (ed.) Applied Technology Integration in Governmental Organizations: New e-Government Research, pp. 257–269. Information Science Reference, New York (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Seman, E.A.A., Salim, J.: A model for business-IT alignment in Malaysian public universities. Procedia Technol. 11, 1135–1141 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Soh, C., Sia, S.K.: An institutional perspective on sources of ERP package–organisation misalignments. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 13(4), 375–397 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yasser e-government program. The national strategy and the e-government action plan. 15 Oct 2016
  42. Tallon, P.P.: A process-oriented perspective on the alignment of information technology and business strategy. J. Manage. Inf. Syst. 24(3), 227–268 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wei, H.L., Wang, E.T., Ju, P.H.: Understanding misalignment and cascading change of ERP implementation: a stage view of process analysis. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 14(4), 324–334 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wu, S.P.J., Straub, D.W., Liang, T.P.: How information technology governance mechanisms and strategic alignment influence organizational performance: insights from a matched survey of business and IT managers. MIS Q. 39(2), 497–518 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Hong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong
  3. 3.Toulouse Business SchoolToulouseFrance

Personalised recommendations