The dynamics of sustainable IS alignment: The case for IS adaptivity

Vessey, Iris and Ward, Kerry (2013) The dynamics of sustainable IS alignment: The case for IS adaptivity. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14 6: 283-311.

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Author Vessey, Iris
Ward, Kerry
Title The dynamics of sustainable IS alignment: The case for IS adaptivity
Journal name Journal of the Association for Information Systems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1536-9323
Publication date 2013-06
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Volume 14
Issue 6
Start page 283
End page 311
Total pages 29
Place of publication Atlanta, GA United States
Publisher Association for Information Systems
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Our research addresses one of the most vexing issues in IS, that of how IS alignment occurs. Even more vexing, and largely unaddressed, is the issue of sustainable IS alignment. We address sustainable IS alignment as a dynamic, multi-faceted, and non-deterministic process based on the complexity theory worldview. The complexity theory worldview conceives of organizations and IS as complex adaptive systems (CAS) that co-evolve over time. Sustainable IS alignment results when an organization's complex adaptive IS adapt to remain in alignment with the constantly-changing (that is, evolving) organization's goals. Our co-evolutionary theory of IS alignment links bottom-up, emergent processes that foster adaptivity with top-down, formal organizational processes essential to established organizations. We illustrate the theory by applying it to the co-evolution and therefore adaptation of enterprise architectures and IS development projects. Our research on the role of co-evolution in sustainable IS alignment contributes to IS research in general and to prior research on IS alignment in particular, and has implications for achieving sustainable IS alignment. We believe that portraying organizations and their IS as complex adaptive systems that co-evolve provides both research and practice with a way to move forward in their endeavors to realize the potential benefits from using IS to enable businesses.
Keyword Complexity theory worldview
Sustainable IS alignment
Complex adaptive systems
Self organization
Information systems development
Strategic alignment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Created: Sun, 15 Sep 2013, 00:03:37 EST by System User on behalf of UQ Business School