IT alignment research has remained limited primarily to intra-organisational alignment, leaving much to learn about the value-creation potential of its largely neglected inter-organisational counterpart. This study addresses this gap by investigating the role of IT-business operational alignment in inter-organisational relationships (IOR). Drawing on IT-based value-co creation and IT alignment literature, we propose that IOR IT-business operational alignment is an immediate source for co-creating business value and can be established through a capability-building process. Using a sample of 241 regional network collaborations in Germany, we find that IOR IT-business operational alignment directly affects relationship performance. Moreover, we find that three IOR IT capabilities – IT infrastructure integration, information exchange capability, and IT-enabled coordination – enable the development of IOR IT-business operational alignment. This study contributes to IS research on value co-creation by integrating the concept of IT-business alignment into a nomological network with well-established IOR IT capabilities. We provide theoretical explanations and empirical evidence that IT infrastructure integration, information exchange capability, and IT-enabled coordination indirectly affect relationship performance over an operational alignment process. For practice, we highlight the importance of monitoring IT-business operational alignment in IOR and provide recommendations on how to expand existing alignment efforts.
- IT capabilities
- IT-business operational alignment
- business value co-creation
- inter-organisational relationships
- the business value of IT