In “The Dynamics of Alignment: Insights from a Punctuated Equilibrium Model,” Sabherwal et al. (2001) propose a punctuated equilibrium model of IT-business alignment that emphasizes the cyclical nature of alignment processes. The model suggests that alignment occurs in punctuated periods of stability and change, rather than as a continuous process.
The authors argue that alignment processes are influenced by internal and external factors, such as changes in business strategy, IT infrastructure, and market conditions. These factors trigger punctuated periods of change that require organizations to reevaluate their alignment and adjust their IT strategies accordingly.
The study also highlights the importance of IT governance in achieving alignment. Effective governance practices, such as clear decision-making processes and stakeholder involvement, can help organizations navigate punctuated periods of change and maintain alignment over time.
The authors provide empirical evidence to support their model, based on a case study of a large insurance company in the United States. The case study demonstrates how the company’s alignment process was influenced by internal and external factors, and how governance practices helped maintain alignment over time.
Overall, Sabherwal et al.’s article provides a new perspective on IT-business alignment, emphasizing the cyclical nature of alignment processes and the importance of effective governance practices in achieving alignment. The punctuated equilibrium model offers a useful framework for understanding the dynamics of alignment and provides practical insights for organizations seeking to improve their alignment processes.