Business–IT alignment has been consistently ranked as the number one concern of IT and business executives. Maintaining the alignment has been found to lead to stronger business performance, higher perceived value of IT and improved IS strategic planning, therefore addressing the issue is both important and timely. The economic growth in China in the last decade has led to greater availability of IT and its widespread use as a critical resource. Despite the increasing interest in Chinese IS issues by both researchers and practitioners, empirical research focusing on human- and organization-related IS issues in China is scarce. Using data collected from 130 business and IT executives from 22 companies in China, 11 of which were multinationals operating in China, we explored several questions in the area of business–IT alignment. An instrument designed to measure the six dimensions of business–IT alignment maturity was cross-validated using a sample of companies in China. Then, the instrument was refined to develop a measurement method that offered better reliability and validity in the context of Chinese companies. The relationship between the alignment maturity dimensions and IS strategic alignment was then examined. Finally, the alignment maturity of companies in China was assessed to provide a snapshot of business–IT alignment in China. A comparison between the 11 Chinese domestic companies and 11 multinational operating in China provided insight into the different IT practices of the two types of companies. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.
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