Strategic Alignment and Service Systems Case Examples

Strategic Alignment and Service Systems Case Examples

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2512-9.ch009


This chapter describes three case studies, selected from the extant literature, to illustrate how some of the key concepts such as strategic alignment, strategy map, service system, value-in-exchange, value-in-use, and value co-creation, and so on, addressed in the preceding chapters (in Sections 1 and 2 of the book) can be operationalized in real-life. The authors use the theories described in these preceding chapters to explain key case study phenomena captured by their authors.
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Strategic Alignment Via Strategy Map: A Biopharmaceutical Company Case Example

Strategic alignment is a basic principle of interaction between IT and business. Alignment is more than a process, but also a mindset of how IT can work for, and with, business all the time in the face of changing external environments (Huang & Hu, 2007, p. 174). As described in chapter 6, business and IT must act as one to achieved sustained strategic alignment despite continuing environmental changes. This case example reviews, using appropriate theories developed in the preceding chapters, how a successful company achieves sustained strategic alignment, based on research by Huang and Hu (2007).

According to Huang and Hu (2007, p. 175) and congruent with our study in chapters 5 and 6, four factors are critical for success in strategic alignment:

  • 1.

    Integrating IT planning with business planning,

  • 2.

    Maintaining effective communication channels,

  • 3.

    Developing strong relationships between IT and business, and

  • 4.

    Institutionalizing the culture of alignment.

They conducted a case study of BIOCO (a pseudonym), which has adopted Kaplan and Norton’s (2004) strategy map (see chapter 2) as a strategic management tool, to substantiate these arguments. Huang and Hu’s (2007) case study of BIOCO is summarized below using our own interpretation of how the theories and principles of strategic alignment and strategy map (described in the preceding chapters of this book) might have been applied.

BIOCO is a medium-sized biopharmaceutical company in USA. Faced with declining sales of its then-core products in the late 1990s, BIOCO underwent structuring to refocus its business. It dismantled the silo business structure and created a new corporate culture, where multiple business units including IT were brought in line with the new strategies—using the strategy map (balanced scorecard) framework (p. 176).

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