The Journal of the Southern Association for Information Systems

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An understanding between information technology (IT) and business units is important to information systems research in that their alignment is critical for organizational performance in the digital environment. Negative perceptions and associated behavioral outcomes can affect group cohesion and effectiveness. The present research uses the lens of stigma and stereotypes to explore a notion of non-productive relationships between the IT and nonIT groups. The primary focus of this study was to analyze interviews with IT professionals to explore and identify potential antecedents to stigma. The differences between IT professionals and users are defined and explicated, illustrating the occurrence of stereotyping among and between the various groups. We found that relationships between the IT and nonIT groups appear to support a notion of differentness. The support of stigmatization between these two groups likely exists in interpersonal relationships during situations of stress, cultural differences, and expectations. Relationships in the pervasive digital environment between business units are critical for organizational performance. Each unit maintains its own culture and, therefore, the associated views and behavioral outcomes. The existence of different groups implies a difference in perception, expectation, and ultimately performance.