AIS Transactions on Replication Research


There is often a tension in organizations between the centralization and decentralization of IT governance, as demonstrated by Sambamurthy and Zmud’s (1999) landmark paper on IT governance and contingencies. Allocation of decision rights over IT resources and capabilities is a complex governance decision, with results that vary considerably over organizations. In this paper, we conduct a conceptual replication of the well-established Centralized-Decentralized-Federal classification scheme for IT governance. Using data from the National Association of State CIOs and the Center for Digital Government, we empirically validate the three original underlying IT governance components of IT infrastructure management, IT use management and project management. We next apply a configurational approach to assess the level of centralization/decentralization of IT governance and to link them to states' digital performance. Finally, we test the original theoretically derived IT governance constructs against the empirically derived ones to confirm existing and find emergent IT governance forms and their links with high and low performance. The results support the existing research but identify additional contingencies regarding the different domains of the studies (public versus private sector) and the evolution of IT architecture since the original study that have led to greater centralization over time.




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