A Study of the Organizational Structure of the Information Technology (IT) Function: A Senior IT Managers Perspective on Aligning Information Technology with the Overall Business Objectives

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Lynn Ellis

Committee Member

Neal Gersony

Committee Member

Louis Mottola

LC Subject Headings

Business planning, Information technology, Business information services

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 N290 Mgmt. Syst. 1995 no.5


This study addresses two related questions. First, Does the Implementation and deployment of a dedicated strategic consultancy component in the organizational structure of the Information Technology (IT) function contribute to its alignment with the company-wide overall business objectives? Second, Does a centralized or decentralized organizational structure lend itself to the successful implementation of the consultancy component?

The dependent variable, alignment with the business objectives, was not measured quantitatively. This has been attempted unsuccessfully by several sources trying to determine the value of the IT functions' contribution as a whole. It is the opinion of the author that a quantitative metric isolating the contribution of the IT function alone as it contributes to the company-wide business objectives, does not exist. Instead a qualitative assessment will be performed through a series of self-evaluating questions used since 1988 on approximately 50 companies.

The questionnaire was mailed to 750 senior IT executives in Fortune 1000 companies. Both service (commercial banking, insurance, and diversified financial services) and manufacturing (varied) industries were participants.

This research provides meaningful objective evidence to assist senior IT management in sorting through all of the reorganization alternatives currently available. The results suggest that the implementation of specific variables contributes to an effective IT strategic alignment to company-wide business objectives.

Further research could include using the two sections of the questionnaire on Strategic Alignment and Internal Market Economy on all the senior management within an organization, as well as the CIO.