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Abstract

Business information technology alignment (BITA) has been found to improve firm performance. Yet little is known about the process through which firms achieve BITA. Less is known about this process in China, the fastest-growing economy in the world. We conducted case studies with two Chinese firms. We first used the Strategic Alignment Maturity assessment model to evaluate these two firms’ BITA degree. Then we applied punctuated equilibrium Theory to study the firms’ dynamic BITA changing process. The results reveal BITA revolutions and identify their external and internal antecedents. Consistent with prior research, we find that the competitive environment, macro environment, performance deterioration, leadership change, and perception transformation contribute to revolutionary changes of BITA. More important, we find some unique impetuses of revolutionary changes of BITA in China, which include government support, organizational inertia, and social culture preferences. Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.

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