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Exploring information technology-business alignment through stakeholder theory: a review of literature

Louis Hickman (Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Mesut Akdere (Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 9 April 2019

Issue publication date: 30 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Stakeholder theory (ST) argues that providing value to external stakeholders is the best way to ensure long-term business health. However, when the theory was formed, information technology (IT) played a small role in organizational operations and strategy. Although IT research recognizes stakeholders, the theoretical underpinnings of ST are rarely recognized within this context. The purpose of this paper is to remedy this issue by reviewing ST through the lens of technology adoption and training and presenting propositions for business alignment and organizational success.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducted a comprehensive literature review to examine all extant research at the intersection of ST, IT and information systems (IS). A total of 25 papers were retained, published between 1993 and 2016, using multiple sources for search.

Findings

Too little IT research has recognized the theoretical foundations of ST. These theoretical foundations have the potential to expand the focus of research and practice to recognize the wider impacts of technological developments. A total of six propositions are presented to highlight the need for a greater focus on external stakeholders throughout all stages of IS design, development and implementation to improve the performance of IT-related projects and IT-business units.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the research gap by integrating ST with IT and IS, providing theory-based recommendations to improve their functions within organizations. A review of all extant research at the intersection of these topics is provided.

Keywords

Citation

Hickman, L. and Akdere, M. (2019), "Exploring information technology-business alignment through stakeholder theory: a review of literature", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 51 No. 4, pp. 228-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-11-2018-0098

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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