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Abstract

This essay addresses the question, “How can strategic alignment that is sustained over time be conceptualized and quantified?” We build on the Dynamic Capabilities Framework and suggest that an organization’s ability to achieve a high degree of alignment between its IT strategy and its business strategy is an enduring competency that is a source of competitive advantage. We couple this theoretical understanding of how strategic alignment provides value with extant research to explain an approach to measuring an organization’s dynamic strategic alignment competency. Our measurement approach considers (1) the degree of alignment at a given point in time, (2) the organization’s history of alignment, and (3) the maturity of the business processes that enable IT and business strategies to co-evolve. Our paper contributes to research on strategic alignment in two ways. First, we address a stated need for more substantial theory to undergird strategic alignment research by highlighting and building upon the Dynamic Capabilities Framework. Second, we move beyond static, single-time-period examinations of alignment to explain a dynamic approach to alignment, one that includes an operationalization of the dynamic strategic alignment competency. In sum, we argue that the dynamic strategic alignment competency is an enduring organizational competency built on organizational processes and routines that provides a source of competitive advantage.

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