The Role of Culture in IT Governance Five Focus Areas: A Literature Review

The Role of Culture in IT Governance Five Focus Areas: A Literature Review

Parisa Aasi, Lazar Rusu, Dragos Vieru
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJITBAG.2017070103
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Information technology governance (ITG) is one of the top challenges of managers today and culture in different level can have an important role while implementing IT governance. This is a new and significant issue, which has not been investigated deeply. This paper sets out to provide a systematic review of the literature, focusing on the role of culture in IT governance. The literature review findings are categorized through the lens of IT governance's five focus areas which are IT strategic alignment, IT value delivery, Risk management, IT resource management and Performance measurement. This study contributes to the field of IT governance by reviewing and discussing the existing literature on the role of culture on IT governance. This literature review resulted that there are few research studies in this topic and many of the IT governance focus areas are not covered regarding the role of culture in these IT governance areas.
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In the current competitive business environment, the enterprises are greatly depending on the use of IT to create value for their business (Debreceny & Gray, 2013; De Haes et al., 2016). Information technology is potentially the key driver of economic capital in the 21st century and it is even changing the industries (Benbasat & Zmud, 2003; ITGI, 2003; Crowston & Myers, 2004; Sueyoshi & Goto, 2013; Workman, 2014; Venkatesh et al., 2016). Hence, IT governance, which deals with decision rights and responsibilities of people working with IT for gaining value from IT (Weill & Ross, 2004), is one of managers’ top concerns (ITGI, 2003; ISACA, 2011). IT governance is strongly linked with the corporate governance. Corporate governance defines the division of power and wealth in the corporation. Corporate governance is influenced by culture (Licht et al., 2005) and consequently culture is a very important influencing issue in IT governance as well. There are many different uses of the term “culture,” such as shared forms, ideas, symbols, values, ideologies, rules and collective norms and patterns, and, of course culture is not unique in this way and many definitions and aspects of it exist (Alvesson, 2012).

In fact, culture is blamed in many cases when IT governance fails to deliver value to the business (Kingsford et al., 2003). Culture should be considered with its both possible inhibiting and supporting effects on IT governance implementation (Ke & Wei, 2007). Still, there is a lack of research concerning the link between culture and IT governance. Therefore, this study aims at performing a systematic literature review on the relationship between culture and IT governance and to providing a future research agenda.

The role of IT within organizations is changing from an operational role to a more strategic one and this consequently stresses the need to make sure that IT is properly governed (Lunardi et al., 2013; Bergeron et al., 2015). IT governance is involved in the relationship between the ownership and control structures of the firm and IT performance (Ferguson et al., 2013). Successful implementation of ITG is a challenge for managers and yet we know very little about that (Debreceny, 2013, Jairak et al., 2015). It has also been suggested that culture plays an important role in the implementation and use of IT in organizations (Walsham, 2002). Culture has been often recognized as one of the impact factors when failures happen in IT implementation in organizations. With its potential constructive or catastrophic effect on organizations’ management and operations culture should be reflected by managers while implementing IT governance (Dittes &Smolnik, 2016).

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