How national culture affects strategic alignment : an exploratory grounded theory investigation of subsidiaries of global telecommunications companies in Ghana

Adaba, Godfried Bakiyem (2017) How national culture affects strategic alignment : an exploratory grounded theory investigation of subsidiaries of global telecommunications companies in Ghana. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

Strategic alignment of business goals and information systems (IS) strategies is a persistent theme in the literature and a key issue for information technology (IT) executives. Prior studies provide evidence that strategic alignment contributes to business success by enabling organisations to leverage information technology and information systems capabilities to gain competitive advantage. Understanding the association between national culture and strategic alignment has become imperative, as a growing number of organisations now operate in multinational and cross-cultural environments. However, a cursory look at the strategic alignment literature reveals a relative dearth of empirical studies examining how national culture affects strategic alignment. To address this apparent gap in the literature, this research set out to explore the impact of national culture on strategic alignment using an adapted version of the grounded theory approach suggested by Corbin and Strauss (2014). In doing so, the study inductively developed a conceptual model of national culture and strategic alignment – the CUSA model – grounded in empirical data from three subsidiaries of telecommunications companies currently operating in Ghana. The CUSA model proposes that the external national culture context – comprising the national culture context of the corporate headquarters and the subsidiary host national culture – shape strategic alignment indirectly through strategic and operational activities in the internal organisational context. The variables most amenable to the impact of national culture are communications, organisational and information systems structure, information systems governance and strategic planning, and management style. Consequently, approaches to strategic alignment may be universal, contingent or hybrid. Whereas the universal approach echoes the national culture of the corporate headquarters, the contingent approach mirrors the subsidiary host culture. The hybrid approach reflect both the corporate headquarters and the subsidiary host national cultures. The model further proposes that, if not managed effectively, barriers to effective intercultural communications, culture-related conflict and mistrust, and differences in work values and practices, might be impediments to strategic alignment success. This research contributes to the existing body of knowledge on strategic alignment by building an empirically grounded model that satisfies the theoretical and practical need for such a framework. This study is an exemplar of the application of an adapted grounded theory approach rooted in the interpretive research paradigm, a suitable alternative to the use of national culture dimensions in information systems research involving national culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Computer Science & Information Systems
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 12:18
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 12:18
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/274

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