Communications of the IIMA


Aligning IT to business needs is still one of the most important concerns for senior management. The message of Business & IT Alignment (BIA) is logical and undisputed, but implementation apparently difficult. As part of a research program on the differences between the theory and practice of BIA this paper presents a conceptual exploration of the impact of national cultures on the maturity of BIA. The paper relies on Hofstede’s framework of cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 1980) to understand the concept of culture. We present a compact literature review on the influence of culture on IT that leads to the conclusion that there is an influence and that it is likely that also alignment of business and IT will be affected by cultural aspects. After a brief introduction we analyze this influence by conceptually assessing the potential impact of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions on the variables of BIA maturity. I