European Journal of Information Systems

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 465–491 | Cite as

Six types of IT-business strategic alignment: an investigation of the constructs and their measurement

  • Jennifer E GerowEmail author
  • Jason Bennett Thatcher
  • Varun Grover
Empirical Research


Top management has been concerned with IT-business strategic alignment (hereafter referred to as alignment) for the past 30 years. Consequently, alignment researchers have developed many models to explain how alignment generates value for firms. However, these models use inconsistent definitions and measures of alignment, which has led to conflicting results and has potentially inhibited the progress of research on this critical topic. This paper emphasizes the importance of demarcating the six alignment types that are sometimes confused in the literature into a single, unified model. It also reports on the development of definitions and measures of these six types of alignment including alignment between IT and business strategies (i.e., intellectual alignment), between IT and business infrastructures and processes (i.e., operational alignment), and across these two domains such that strategies are linked with infrastructures and processes (i.e., four types of cross-domain alignment). Analyzing survey data collected from 140 Chief Information Officers, we found each measure possesses desirable psychometric properties. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


alignment IT-business strategic alignment intellectual operational cross-domain 


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer E Gerow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jason Bennett Thatcher
    • 2
  • Varun Grover
    • 2
  1. 1.Economics & Business DepartmentVirginia Military InstituteU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of ManagementClemson UniversityU.S.A.

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