Strategic alignment Essay

1.1 Overview
This chapter introduces the research background and context for this probe. An debut to strategic alliance is presented with the purpose of set uping the context of this research, followed by an account of the importance of concern scheme and Information Technology ( IT ) and the singularity of organisational civilization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( KSA ) . In add-on, the cognition spread and research methodological analysis were explained. In visible radiation of these statements the purposes and aims are presented together with an lineation of the thesis construction.

1.2 Research Background
For the last two decades the relevancy of alliance between concern and IT strategies has continuously grown and remains a top precedence for faculty members and practicians. Research suggests that alining concern and IT strategies has a positive consequence on organizational public presentation ( Teo and King, 1996 ; Reich and Benbasat, 2000 ; Chan et al. , 2006 ) .

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The one-year study on top direction concerns by the Society for Information Management ( ) nevertheless ranked ‘IT and Business alliance ‘ as the No. 1 concern for four old ages in a row ( Society of Information Management, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 ) . In last twelvemonth ‘s study, alliance lost its dubious award as the ‘top concern ‘ to drop to merely the 2nd topographic point on the list ( Society of Information Management, 2007 ) .

But it came back in 2008 and regained the No.1 topographic point as the top concern.

Furthermore, the value of IT has been related to strategic alliance ( Tallon and Kraemer, 2003 ) . They found that administrations with strategic ends for IT showed higher degrees of strategic alliance and, as a effect, the perceptual experience of IT concern value was higher. However, administrations that have developed IT strategies frequently fail to present IT concern value, despite holding integrated their concern and IT strategies. This suggests business-IT scheme is necessary but non sufficient to present concern value from IT investings ( Peppard et al. , 2000 ; Benbya and McKelvey, 2006 ) .

Strategic alliance research has extensively discussed the coordination between concern and IT scheme ( Henderson and Venkatraman, 1993 ; Reich and Benbasat, 2000 ; Kearns and Sabherwal, 2007 ) . As strategic alliance has become embedded in the strategic direction procedure, a closer relationship between IT and concern directors is required to set up a bipartisan committedness that enables directors in both IT and concern spheres to prioritize IT undertakings that will back up the concern scheme ( Luftman et al. , 1999 ) .

Figure ( 1 ) summarizes the Information System/Business relationship which can be described as ‘Interdependent ‘ ; where any alterations in the IS ( Software, Hardware, Database and Telecommunication devices will hold an impact on the Business and frailty versa ; any alteration in the concern ( Strategy, Rules and Procedures ) will hold its impact on the Information Systems map of the organisation [ 2 ] .

Figure 1: The mutuality between organisations and information systems
( Laudon & A ; Laudon, 2006 )

This committedness, nevertheless, has been hard to accomplish at strategic degree in administrations and accordingly hard to convey to lower degrees within administrations ( Lycett et al. , 2004 ; Srivannaboom, 2006 ) . Additionally, the frequent failure of IT undertakings has reduced the trust of senior directors in IT investings and their concern value ( Peppard et al. , 2000 ; Taylor, 2000 ; Hartman and Ashrafi, 2004 ) . When an IT scheme is conceived at strategic degree, it may be aligned with company ends ; nevertheless, as it moves down through the lower degrees of an administration to be implemented, the original aims for which the scheme was conceived can be lost. Relationships between concern and IT implementers are non ever near and IT staff tends to be more concerned with proficient issues. Business and IT besides need a close relationship at execution degree to guarantee the undertaking ends are good communicated and understood ( Lederer and Salmela, 1996 ; Campbell et al. , 2005 ) .

The interaction between information engineering and organisations is influenced by many interceding factors, including the organisation ‘s construction, standard operating processs, political relations, civilization, environing environment, and direction determinations as shown in figure ( 2 ) . and information Technology ( Laudon & A ; Laudon, 2006 )

Therefore the motive behind this research is to develop a theoretical account that depicts the dynamic interrelatednesss between the factors impacting strategic alliance taking into consideration the organisational civilization ( OC ) in Saudi administrations.

OC and scheme
Connie Curran, ( 2002 ) a research worker and practician in the health care sector, wrote “Culture chows scheme for tiffin every time” . In this simple statement she has articulately summarized one of the strongest subjects in the literature on scheme execution, which is that it does n’t count how fantastic your organisation ‘s scheme is, if its civilization does non back up it, the scheme will non be realized – even if the ends and substructure are aligned.

Aligning organisational civilization to scheme accelerates scheme executing. Organizational civilization includes the extremely influential sets of norms, values, premises, beliefs and behaviours which influence the choice, design and execution of strategic enterprises, impacting growing and operational schemes. Misaligned civilizations create drag that impairs the public presentation of the organisation ‘s ‘engines ‘ for growing, limping schemes from being accomplishing to their full potency.

OC and IT
It is a common statement that we are now populating in an epoch of rapid engineering development. The acceptance and execution of new engineerings, in many instances, is imperative non merely to better productiveness, efficiency or to provide to new demand and demands but besides to guarantee the endurance of the concern itself. ‘The debut of any new engineering into an business, administration, or society can be seen as a cultural alteration job ‘ ( Schein 1989 ) .

The success or failure of incorporating a new engineering in an administration is, to a big grade, dependant on its ability to set or alter its civilization. The creative activity and/or being of a certain cultural environment may be indispensable to guarantee the successful execution of a new engineering. The new engineering one time has been put in usage in an administration, in bend, will order farther alterations in the administration ‘s civilization. Many current illustrations can be found in relation to the countries of mechanization and information engineering.

1.6 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( KSA )
The civilization of Saudi Arabia is a rich 1 that has been shaped by its Islamic heritage, its historical function as an ancient trade centre, and its Bedouin traditions. Saudi Arabia is considered a really high context civilization, which means that the message people are seeking to convey frequently relies to a great extent on other communicative cues such as organic structure linguistic communication and eye-contact instead than direct words. Saudi traditions are rooted in Islamic instructions and Arab imposts, which Saudis learn approximately at an early age from their households and in schools. Arab traditions besides play an of import function in Saudi life. These antique traditions have evolved over the millenary and are extremely regarded. They include generousness and cordial reception, which every Saudi household offers to aliens, friends, and household [ 50 ] .

One of the most of import characteristics of the Saudi civilization is the segregation of the sexes. Segregation, which means non permit adult females to blend with unrelated work forces. Besides Shyness is another of import feature that people should continue. The other of import characteristic in the Saudi civilization is household ties, where Muslim is expected to maintain contact with his relations [ 51 ] .

Respect and friendly relationship are values that are held really extremely by the Saudi people, concern scene, favours based on common benefit and trust are ways of heightening these cultural values. Due to the personal nature of concern in Saudi Arabia, household influence and personal connexions frequently take precedency over other regulating factors [ 52 ] .

Saudi Arabia is behind in the country of IT, which could be contributed to several factors including Computer illiteracy, deficiency of authorities inducements to pull concerns, the absence of equal substructure to back up industry, hapless enforcement of rational belongings and transcript right Torahs, and deficiency of resources [ 53 ] .

1.7 Knowledge Gap
Based on the above, and through testing some of the bing strategic alignment theoretical accounts in the literature reappraisal, the research worker figured out that to accomplish such an alliance there is a demand to see and incorporate the undermentioned points:

Most of staff, if non all, is incognizant of concern ends and aims, particularly in the environment of Saudi Arabia.
Important proficient investings determinations are made by the IT director entirely.
No relationship exists ( Gap ) between Business scheme and IT scheme.
A batch of factors are non taken into consideration when organizing strategic alliance, such as Structure, Culture, political relations, and others.
Strategic alliance theoretical accounts discussed merely top direction degree and discarded other degrees.
Previous strategic alliance theoretical accounts are difficult to be understood and implemented in world.
The theoretical accounts discussed in the literature reappraisal may hold achieved one or two of the above six points, nevertheless, there is no bing theoretical account that has achieved the above six points wholly.

Based on the above, the research worker has selected Strategic Alignment as a starting and a centre country of research that he is constructing on to carry through the other points mentioned. The theoretical account that the research worker is taking to set up differs from the bing 1s in that it will run into the demands and challenges of the Saudi environment taking into consideration the 6 above points.

1.8 Research Aims & A ; Significance
To bridge the spread between Business Strategy and Information Technology Strategy through developing and planing a simple Strategic Alignment Model, that includes the kernel of the major research works in add-on to other strategic alignment theories available
To foreground the function of socio-cultural facets as a critical success factor for successful IT execution, which were non taken into consideration in the yesteryear
To mensurate the part of such a theoretical account to concern public presentation.
To promote Saudi Firms to utilize such a theoretical account to derive competitory competition.
To cut down the associated costs of implementing Information Systems in Organization
1.9 Research methods
The research worker has used the assorted research methodological analysis. Assorted research involves the commixture of quantitative and qualitative methods or paradigm features within a phase of the survey or across two of the phases of the research procedure. It collects informations either consecutive of at the same time to best understand research jobs [ 16 ] .

Advantages of utilizing assorted research includes: the major end for research worker who design and behavior assorted research is to follow the cardinal rule of assorted research, in other words, the research worker should blend quantitative and qualitative research methods, processs, and paradigm features in a manner that the resulting mixture or combination has complementary strengths and non-overlapping failings. When different attacks are used to concentrate on the same phenomenon, while supplying the same consequence, is a strong grounds for the consequence. Other of import ground for making assorted research are to complement one set of consequences with another, to spread out a set of consequences, or to detect something that would hold been missed if merely a quantitative or a qualitative attack had been used [ 17 ] .

1.9.1 Quantitative Method
One of the most widely used research techniques can be defined as roll uping informations through written inquiries [ 17 ] . There are a figure of different ways in which questionnaires can be administered ; for illustration: posted to the intended respondents or administered over the telephone or face-to-face. A questionnaire design provides a quantitative description of tendencies, attitudes, or sentiments of a population by analyzing a sample of that population. From sample consequences, the research worker generalizes or makes claims about a population [ 18 ] .

1.9.2 Qualitative Method
Interviews are considered to be the chief tool of the qualitative research worker for informations aggregation [ 18 ] . Additionally, since the interpretative stance is besides being followed, interviews are viewed to be the chief and appropriate beginning from where information has been collected. Harmonizing to Walsham, interviews allow the best entree to the readings

that the participants have sing the actions and events, which have or are taking topographic point and the positions and aspirations of themselves and other participants. An added benefit is that it allows research workers to step back and analyze the readings of their fellow participants in some item, and this is an advantage that other methods may non let [ 18 ] .

There are several types of interviews possible for usage, structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews. In this survey the semi-structured interview type was used due to different grounds. The semi-structured interview lies someplace in between the other two types. It allows the interviewer to research, investigation and ask inquiries within a capable country less freely than the unstructured interview and with more freedom in sequencing of inquiries and clocking for each inquiry than the structured type. It allows the interviewer to research more thoughts and do usage of unexpected and unanticipated information as it revealed. In add-on, this survey is a limited clip survey and since the timing required in carry oning semi-structured interview is less than that required from the unstructured type, this type was chosen.

To do the interview proceed swimmingly, an Interview Guide was designed. A engagement information sheet was besides designed to familiarize the participants with the research intent and to guarantee them of namelessness and confidentiality. Before carry oning the semi-structured interview, each participant was asked to make full and subscribe a consent signifier with a transcript kept with him/her. See Appendix F and G for the ( Interview Guide, Invitation missive, Participation Information Sheet, and Consent Form ) . 24 interviews were conducted within the four organisations.

The collected information from the interviews were converted into a quantitative format ( frequences ) utilizing content analysis method, where the collected informations were summarized on a drumhead sheet. Then it was categorized to run into the research aims, which was so displayed on a tabular array. Rating for the consequences was calculated utilizing Microsoft office Excel spreadsheet.

1.9.3 Secondary Data
In order to derive a richer image of Strategic Alignment constructs, a literature study was conducted from published books, articles, diaries, etc. All informations from the primary instance survey ( questionnaires and interviews ) , secondary instance surveies and paperss were combined and linked together to give the base for planing the Strategic Alignment Model.

1.9.4 Data analysis
Data gathered was analyzed through frequence distributions. These have given manner to reexamining the information classs and the figure of referrals in each class. With relation to data analysis, the indexs that were used in measuring the survey include the age of the respondent ; the societal position ; the educational attainment of the respondents ; the business of the respondents and their length of stay in the company they belong to [ 19 ] .

The research has involved 4 big organisations, SABB ( Saudi British Bank ) , Saudi Airlines, AL-Marai, and AlTawniah, where interviews have been conducted with concern directors to hold a clear thought about the company ‘s concern scheme. Besides, other interviews took topographic point with IT managers to look into about the IT scheme and its relationship with the concern scheme. In addition,2 sets of questionnaires were distributed among different degrees of the organisations to come up with the types of organisational civilization and the usage of Information engineering in those organisations. At the terminal, informations were collected and analyzed through utilizing SPSS package and content analysis. Figure — — -depicts the assorted stairss that compromised the research model

1.10 Expected Research Outcomes
The consequences from this research are anticipated to be of great aid to exceed directors, strategic contrivers, IT directors, and other work force in Saudi environment, and will lend to the undermentioned factors:

Increasing the consciousness of Strategic Alignment Concept and its importance.
Showing the importance of the usage of Information Technology in organisations
Identifying the organisational civilization as a major factor of accomplishing strategic alliance.
Encouraging determination shapers and top direction to use and implement strategic alliance throughout the organisation.
Foregrounding the failings of old strategic alliance theoretical accounts and the lessons learned, which would assist other research workers for future work
1.11 Indicative Thesis Structure
The thesis will incorporate nine chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction:
Presents an overview about the research topic. It shows the importance of strategic alliance in all sectors, followed by bridging the spread between concern scheme and IT scheme, and the factors that affect strategic alliance, including the organisational civilization in Saudi Arabia. The research aims and significance so was explained followed by a brief treatment of the research methodological analysis, research model, so prospected research part was mentioned.

Chapter 2: Literature Reappraisal:
Provides the literature reappraisal for this research. It begins with explicating Business scheme, Business planning and its tools, followed by a treatment of IT scheme, IT planning, and its tools. Then a treatment of strategic alliance was presented. And ended with an overview of old strategic alliance theoretical accounts.

Chapter 3: Research design and methodological analysis:
The chapter inside informations the research procedure adopted and continues with an account of the informations aggregation and informations analysis methods employed by the research worker including justification for the attack and methods. The elaborate questionnaire and interviews readying and usage procedure is described, followed by the dependability and cogency trials. There is concluding provided in this chapter for the usage of informations reading techniques and package ‘s like the SPSS & A ; Content analysis.

Chapter 4: Choice of Strategic Alignment Model Parameters:
Presents the organisational civilization parametric quantities selected by the research worker, the cogency of this choice, and their relationship with the two chief constituents of strategic alliance ( Business scheme & A ; IT scheme )

Chapter 5: Information Technology Use Questionnaires Analysis:
This chapter introduces findings from a study of 62 Information Technology ( IT ) directors to set up general perceptual experiences of added value ( s ) of IT investings in Saudi organisations.

Chapter 6: Organizational Culture Impact Questionnaires Analysis:
Discuss and examines the information collected through the questionnaires from 400 staff in the selected Saudi houses, to place the importance of organisational civilization in strategic alliance.

Chapter 7: Interviews Analysis:
Negotiations about and analyses the information collected through the interviews in the 4 Saudi houses where 12 Business directors and 12 Information technology directors were approached. The chapter ended with an interview ‘s drumhead and decisions.

Chapter 8: Hypothesis Formulating:
Chapter 8 nowadayss and discusses the research hypotheses. Dependent and independent variables were discussed in inside informations. The chapter ended with a item ocular theoretical account demoing the predicted relationship between dependant and independent variables

Chapter 9: Decision and Recommendations:
Proposes the new strategic alliance theoretical account, and concludes the survey and gives recommendations and future waies.

The Effect of OC on Strategic alliance in Saudi Firms Hatem Tamimi


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