Although alignment has continued to be a major concern of executive IT managers it is still not well understood. Most prior research into alignment has tested theories developed a priori from the literature. The current interpretive research developed a theory of alignment grounded in data collected by interviewing senior business and IT managers. The theory indicates that organisational dynamics coerce IT managers into adopting one of two responses to business strategy ambiguity. They can either collaborate with business peers in an attempt to provide business value, or concentrate on the technology providing a reliable low cost IT service. Subsequent actions of IT managers then tend to reinforce the conditions that led to the adoption of the response creating a reinforcing feedback loop that makes it difficult to change response.