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The formulation and interpretation of global IS/IT-strategies: A study of Swedish-Argentinean Coalitions
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: The notion of IT strategies has changed during recent years, because our perspectives towards IT in the organizations have changed. We expect IT to be fulfilling business goals and lever-age business opportunities and we have strengthened the role of IT in the supply chain. Our individual view on IT, whether it is strategic or supportive, whether the infrastructure should be standard-ized or individualized etc., most likely affects how IT strategies are interpreted and conducted in the organization. This is critical in companies who have their subsidiaries on foreign land. It is not obvi-ous that managers in different countries interpret the IT strategy the same way, just because it happens to be the same company. In most large global coalitions, a common central strategy for IT is the standard. I have chosen to examine Argentinean subsidiaries to Swedish companies as an example. Eight research questions were formulated, with the purpose of finding what is included in a generic IS/IT strategy, if the perspectives of managers are in line with the theory, whether views are consistent throughout the concern, and determine the challenges of global IS/IT management.

Purpose: This paper aims at finding the generic parts in a IS/IT strategy formulation and explain how business management and IT specialists of global coalitions interpret the concept IS/IT strat-egy. A sub-purpose is to define the priorities in global IS/IT management. The analysis of the paper culminates in a model - “the interpretation of IS/IT strategies”, with the ambition to give guidelines for managers and strategy formulators in a global environment.

Method: The study is of qualitative, exploratory and explanatory type, it has a descriptive part and a theory enhancing rational. By a thorough literature study and a pre- study I wished to explore and shed light on the perplexities in IS/IT management, nationally and globally. The broad research spectrum was a conscious choice to cover the complex area of IS/IT strategy and the various people affected. By conducting interviews; through questions and observations I also aimed at describing and explaining how IS/IT strategies are interpreted in practice. As a result of my hermeneutic research approach I am drawing conclusions from the similarities and dissimilarities I found in the different perceptions and relate it to the result of previous studies. The idea is thus to combine these insights in order to enhance theory in the area.

Analysis and result: what could be determined from the analysis is:

• IS/IT strategy composed of strategic planning, alignment between business- and IT, competitive advantage, knowledge management, responsibilities, system architecture, interaction and security.

• No “generic” strategy exists. A good strategy for a global coalition is forward-looking and flexible and frequently evaluated. The strategy gives competitive advantage if leveraged; the results are related to IS paradigm view.

• IT people proves short sighted while business/strategy management have long term perspective, which contradicts Earl, (1999). The difference could be due to culture in this case. The organiza-tional structure does not determine IT architecture, which contradicts King Sethi (1999).

• Managers and IT people are generally not in agreement. Interpretations of strategy are not consistent in global firms. Managers and not IT people need to take responsibility for the formulation and realization of the strategy. This is in accordance with Axelsson, (1995).

The implications to managers are: The organizational structure chosen should not be steering the politics for architecture, moreover that IT specialists with a technical view can not be responsible for strategy work or global standards. Managers are encouraged to develop knowledge management, to include intellectual assets in the IS/IT strategy and work with culture enhancement programs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , p. 85
Keywords [en]
IS/IT strategy, IT, IS, IM, strategy, culture and global strategy
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-299DiVA, id: diva2:4000
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-01-31 Created: 2006-01-31 Last updated: 2018-01-12

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