Co-evolutionary IS-alignment: a complex adaptive systems perspective

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Many studies have investigated the effects of information technology (IT) in achieving organizational performance. However, despite substantial IT investments, organizations often fail to improve organizational performance using IT. This failure could be the result of a lack of Business-IT alignment. Recently , scholars and practitioners have adopted a complexity science approach to better address the many interwoven IT, organizational and environmental turbulence challenges. These efforts resulted in the emergence of the complexity-based concept of co-evolutionary IS/IT-alignment (COISA). COISA involves "the series of coevolutionary moves that makes IT aligned over time." However, the notion of COISA remains conceptual, and further operationalization in preparation for more empirical evidence seems appropriate. Therefore, this study aims to provide further clarification on the conceptualization of COISA in turbulent environments. We conducted a structured literature review using a theoretical foundation of Complex Adaptive Systems theory. In this effort, we developed a COISA model composed of five continuous alignment processes characterized by co-evolutionary moves toward alignment , situated in two organizational contexts. This model provides a basis for further empirical research on COISA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems
Place of PublicationCorfu, Greece
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
EventThe 12th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems - Corfu, Greece
Duration: 28 Sept 201830 Sept 2018


ConferenceThe 12th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems
OtherThe Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS) aims to encourage and inspire innovative and informative IS research that is relevant to the social, economic and cultural particularities of the Mediterranean region, raise the visibility of IS-related research practice, education and policy carried out in the Med. Region and bring together researchers, educators, policy makers and practitioners originating from, or working in the region, thus engaging junior and more experienced members of the Mediterranean IS community in a creative dialogue.
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  • business-it alignment
  • complex adaptive systems
  • co-evolutionary is-alignment
  • Alignment processes


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