MIS Quarterly Executive


A common challenge facing firms is how to effectively embed strategic business-IT alignment into daily routines at the operational level. Based on our findings from following an alignment project in a global aerospace industry leader for almost two years, we put forward a framework, which we call OperA, for establishing operational level business-IT alignment. This framework has three dimensions -knowledge, communication and trust, and identifies alignment paths for three strategic situations faced by firms: major planned changes, regular operations and major unplanned changes. Each path is anchored in a different dimension of the framework. The global aerospace case shows how different mechanisms used for each path improve business processes and enable successful change. The case also revealed frequent pitfalls and dependencies between the dimensions and associated mechanisms that top managers should be aware of as they strive to achieve operational business-IT alignment.