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Establishing a partnership between top and IT managers: A necessity in an era of digital transformation

Anton Manfreda (Department of Business Informatics and Logistics, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Mojca Indihar Štemberger (Department of Business Informatics and Logistics, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 11 October 2018

Issue publication date: 23 September 2019

1776

Abstract

Purpose

A poor relationship between top management and IT personnel is often denoted as a business–IT gap. In an era of digital transformation, bridging this gap and establishing a strong relationship between business and IT are more important than ever before. The purpose of this paper is thus to examine a particular link between business and IT managers – a partnership relationship – together with the factors facilitating it.

Design/methodology/approach

A partnership construct is developed based on interdisciplinary studies and transferred to the business–IT context since it is not generally used in IT disciplines. The model was empirically tested with structural equation modelling using data obtained from 221 IT managers in Slovenian companies.

Findings

The results show that both the perceived value of IT and the business orientation of the IT department exert a positive influence on the partnership, while a mere technology-oriented IT department has a negative effect on the partnership relationship. Furthermore, the paper also presents the prerequisites for a business-oriented IT department.

Originality/value

In this digitalisation era, IT is becoming even more important for its strategic role in organisations. There is thus a strong need to bridge the business–IT gap. Despite significant efforts made to close this gap, it remains a major issue. This research contributes to understanding the business–IT gap and presents the key factors for ensuring a partnership relationship is in place. The study also combines the views of social exchange theory and knowledge-based theory and upgrades findings concerning the influence of social facilitators on collaboration outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Manfreda, A. and Indihar Štemberger, M. (2019), "Establishing a partnership between top and IT managers: A necessity in an era of digital transformation", Information Technology & People, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 948-972. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2017-0001

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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