E-commerce organizational transformations, owing to their cross-functional and inter-organizational nature, often lead to the confrontation of diverging objectives and visions. Although research has long highlighted the role of IT governance in the success of IS-enabled organizational transformations, attention to how governance can drift and fail to overcome organizational inertia remains scarce. Yet, this organizational inertia lies at the core of transformational difficulties. Through a multiple case study of IT governance drifts in e-commerce transformations, we extend Weill & Ross’ (2004) political metaphor to identify absolute business monarchies, feudal business revolts and bicephalous monarchies as three IT governance drift patterns and analyze resulting political and socio-cognitive inertia. We then discuss our findings and the need to account for informal governance, politics and socio-cognitive frames to analyze IT governance. In the face of the complex and multiple central – local and business - IT alignment processes which make IT governance in e-commerce transformations prone to drifting, we advocate for a continuous tinkering approach to governance.
Thenoz, Etienne, "Absolute or Bicephalous Monarchies and Feudal Revolts: A Multiple Case Study of IT Governance Drifts and Resulting Political and Socio-Cognitive Inertia" (2020). Research Papers. 115.
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