Strategic alignment: a practitioner's perspective

Bruce Campbell (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
Robert Kay (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
David Avison (ESSEC Business School, Cergy‐Pontoise, France)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of aligning information systems with organizational processes, goals and strategies. One way of representing and analysing strategic alignment is through the creation of a causal‐loop diagram, a subject which this paper seeks to examine.


The exploratory research presented here involved six senior IS/IT managers during three two‐hour focus group sessions, which led to the development of such a diagram. The focus group sessions were recorded, transcribed and analysed using content analysis.


The diagram presents a systemic view of IS/business alignment within organizations, as seen through the lens of these practitioners. The research suggests that, although practitioners understand that a high level of connection between IS and business planning processes may be dependent on the level of integration between the IS group and other sections of the organization, they are still unable to develop the necessary relationships. It appears that the culture of many organizations is impeding the development of this integration.


The research method and technique allowed a systemic view of IS/business alignment within a typical organization. It highlights the inter‐relationship between the social and intellectual dimensions of alignment and shows that these should not be studied in isolation. In particular, the research highlights the inter‐relationship between the social and intellectual dimensions of alignment.



Campbell, B., Kay, R. and Avison, D. (2005), "Strategic alignment: a practitioner's perspective", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 653-664.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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