Foundations and Trends® in Information Systems > Vol 5 > Issue 3

Information Technology Alignment and Innovation: 30 Years of Intersecting Research

Yolande E. Chan, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada, ychan@queensu.ca , Rashmi Krishnamurthy, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada, r.krishnamurthy@queensu.ca , Ali S. Ghawe, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada, ali.ghawe@queensu.ca
 
Suggested Citation
Yolande E. Chan, Rashmi Krishnamurthy and Ali S. Ghawe (2021), "Information Technology Alignment and Innovation: 30 Years of Intersecting Research", Foundations and Trends® in Information Systems: Vol. 5: No. 3, pp 231-352. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/2900000021

Publication Date: 17 May 2021
© 2021 Yolande E. Chan, Rashmi Krishnamurthy and Ali S. Ghawe
 
Subjects
Information Systems Management: Strategic alignment,  Strategic Management: Strategic management of technology and innovation,  Technology Management and Strategy
 

Free Preview:

Download extract

Share

Download article
In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Literature Review Findings
4. Takeaways from the Literature
5. Conclusion
A. Article Selection Criteria
B. Overview of Review Articles
References

Abstract

Business-IT alignment (hereafter alignment) and information technology-enabled innovation (hereafter innovation) are essential for firm performance and competitive advantage. During the past 30 years, alignment and innovation literature streams have grown and become important areas of inquiry in the Information Systems field. Nevertheless, both literature streams have remained separate; it is unclear where and how the two streams overlap. To our knowledge, none of the existing review articles has systematically examined this overlap or how each literature stream informs the other. In this monograph, we bridge this gap and present findings from a review of the alignment and innovation literature streams published between 1990 and 2020 in the Senior Scholars’ Basket of Eight Journals of the Association for Information Systems. We summarize approaches, challenges, and opportunities seen in the alignment and innovation literature streams. Our analysis reveals that alignment scholars tend to overlook the complexities inherent in the process of innovating and view innovation as a black box. Meanwhile, innovation scholars assume different organizational components during the innovation process seamlessly work together to support alignment. We conclude that scholars in both camps should consider undertaking studies that examine aligning and innovating as interdependent processes: aligning involves coordination and cooperation among business units, and in many cases, innovations are needed to achieve alignment. Similarly, innovating with information technology jolts the organization out of its previous alignment and requires aligning in parallel to innovating to restore alignment. We end the monograph by presenting guidance to both scholars and practitioners interested in alignment and IT-enabled innovation.

DOI:10.1561/2900000021
ISBN: 978-1-68083-816-9
136 pp. $90.00
Buy book (pb)
 
ISBN: 978-1-68083-817-6
136 pp. $140.00
Buy E-book (.pdf)
Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Literature Review Findings
4. Takeaways from the Literature
5. Conclusion
Appendices
A. Article Selection Criteria
B. Overview of Review Articles
References

Information Technology Alignment and Innovation: 30 Years of Intersecting Research

Business-IT alignment and information technology-enabled innovation are essential for firm performance and competitive advantage. Over the last 30 years, alignment and innovation literature streams have grown and become important areas of inquiry in the Information Systems field. However, both literature streams have remained separate, and it is unclear where and how the two streams overlap. None of the existing reviews have systematically examined this overlap or how each literature stream informs the other. This monograph bridges this gap and presents findings from a review of the alignment and innovation literature streams published between 1990 and 2020. The authors summarize approaches, challenges, and opportunities seen in the alignment and innovation literature streams.

The analysis reveals that alignment scholars tend to overlook the complexities inherent in the process of innovating and view innovation as a black box. Meanwhile, innovation scholars assume different organizational components during the innovation process seamlessly work together to support alignment. The authors conclude that scholars in both camps should consider undertaking studies that examine aligning and innovating as interdependent processes: aligning involves coordination and cooperation among business units, and, in many cases, innovations are needed to achieve alignment. Similarly, innovating with information technology jolts the organization out of its previous alignment and requires aligning in parallel to innovating to restore alignment. Information Technology Alignment and Innovation: 30 Years of Intersecting Research provides guidance to both scholars and practitioners interested in alignment and IT-enabled innovation.

 
ISY-021