Veröffentlichungen von Dr. Katja Zolper (geb. Katja Walentowitz)

Journal-Artikel (Peer Reviewed)

Zolper, K., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2014)
The effect of social network structures at the business/IT interface on IT application change effectiveness
Journal of Information Technology (29:2), p.148-169, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/jit.2014.6 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
The challenge of managing the relationship between a firm's business and IT in order to derive business value from IT is an important topic on researchers' and practitioners' agendas. The focus of most related research and management actions has been on the top management or project management levels. However, conflicts frequently arise within the line organization when applications are extended, enhanced, maintained, or otherwise changed operationally outside software development projects. This study focuses on the impact of relationships at the application-change level and strives to identify and explain favorable social structures for effective business/IT dialog at the operational level. We collected data in seven comprehensive case studies, including 88 interviews and corresponding surveys, and applied social network analysis to show that three social structures at the implementation level influence the degree to which IT applications are maintained and enhanced in line with business requirements: (1) interface actors connecting business and IT, (2) the relationships between interface actors and the corresponding unit, and (3) the relationships between interface actors and other employees in their unit. In three cases, less favorable structures are revealed that correspond to low application change effectiveness and software applications that do not meet business requirements. The other cases benefit from favorable social structures and thus enhance fulfillment of business requirements and result in higher IT business value. This paper contributes to IS research by helping to explain why companies may not provide favorable IT services despite favorable relationships at the top management level and successful application development projects.

Zolper, K., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2013)
When the river leaves its bed: analyzing deviations between planned and actual interaction structures in IT change processes
Journal of Information Technology (18:4), p. 333-353, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/jit.2013.23 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: A)

View Abstract
There is ample evidence of deviations between the actual and planned interaction structures between a firm's IT department and business units. Such deviations can hinder senior managers from governing their IT organizations effectively because they do not know how work really gets done. This paper develops an explanation for why actual structures differ from planned structures. Understanding this phenomenon is indispensable for managers to govern the real organization, to uphold compliance with important standards (e.g., ITIL, COBIT), to decide whether the formal or the actual organization is more effective, and, finally, to identify management actions that support the optimal structure. To develop this understanding, we analyze the interaction structures at the interface between firms' business units and IT units in four rich cases, using data from 56 interviews and 47 questionnaires, and applying qualitative methods and social network analysis, which give us deep insights into planned and actual interaction among employees. We test two different explanations for deviations of actual from planned interaction structures and find that boundary-spanning theory provides the dominant explanation for such deviations: Inclined to span the business/IT boundary most effectively, the actors involved deviate from planned structures especially when other structures offer better boundary-spanning potential, which is influenced primarily by cross-domain knowledge. In addition, relationships also play an important role. On the positive side, relationships provide opportunities for such deviations, while on the negative side, a conflict-laden relationship might hinder deviations even if they were advantageous.

Walentowitz, K. and Beimborn, D. (2011)
The Social Antecedents of Business/IT Alignment - Reviewing the Role of Social Network Structure in Alignment Research
International Journal on IT/Business Alignment and Governance (IJITBAG) (2:2), p. 15-32 (VHB-JOURQUAL 3 Rating: k.R.)

View Abstract
Business/IT alignment is a major source of business value generated from IT and social structures at the interface between a firm's business and IT units are of vital importance to business/IT alignment. Yet, there is a substantial gap in understanding the nature of these social structures. Based on a literature review comprising all related articles published in the AIS Senior Scholars' Basket journals between January 2000 and August 2011, this paper identifies antecedents of alignment related to social network structure. These are translated into formal SNA concepts. The identification and formalization of social network structures allow IT governance to implement social engineering mechanisms influencing the social network structure, thus improve business/IT alignment and IT value. Examples for such translated arguments are high degree centrality of CIOs vis-à-vis other executives and strong ties in terms of cross-domain knowledge between CIOs and other executives. Finally, important avenues for future research are highlighted.

Konferenz-Artikel (Peer Reviewed)

Walentowitz, K. (2012)
Aligning Multiple Definitions of Alignment - A Literature Review
Proceedings of the 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Maui (HI)

View Abstract
Business/IT alignment is an important driver of ITbusiness-value, thus, an important topic on researchers' and practitioners' agendas. Achieving alignment is a major goal of IT governance. Accordingly, many articles around alignment have been published. However, they describe a wide range of different sometimes overlapping alignment types. Yet, research depends on precise, unambiguous concepts. While previous reviews on alignment only list and describe alignment definitions, this literature-review-based research develops the Alignment Map, a structured overview of alignment types describing their relations to one another, and describes an approach to locate additional alignment definitions amongst existing ones. It is centred around the SAM whose two dimensions are complemented by a social dimension, highlighting the importance of social aspects in recent alignment literature. The Alignment Map, to my knowledge, is the first tool allowing researchers to locate their understanding of alignment amongst existing definitions, and thus promotes exchange between different alignment research streams.

Walentowitz, K., Beimborn, D., Schroiff, A., and Weitzel, T. (2011)
The Social Network Structure of Alignment - A Literature Review
Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai (HI)

View Abstract
The social network structure at the interface between a firm's business and IT units is of vital importance to business/IT alignment and hence an important IT governance object. Yet, there is a substantial gap in understanding the nature of these social structures and how they affect IT business value. Based on a literature review that comprises articles published in eight top IS journals since 2000, this paper identifies social network structure characteristics which represent antecedents of alignment. These are subsequently translated into precise concepts of social network analysis (SNA). The identification and formalization of such social network structures allow IT governance to implement social engineering mechanisms in order to influence the social network structure and thus business/IT alignment and IT value. Examples for such translated arguments are a high degree centrality of CIOs vis-à-vis other executives and strong ties in terms of cross-domain knowledge between the CIO and other executives.

Walentowitz, K., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2010)
The Influence of Social Structures on Business/IT Alignment
Proceedings of the 2010 JAIS Theory Development Workshop (Pre-ICIS Workshop), St. Louis (MO)

View Abstract
Motivated by the importance of business/IT alignment for IT value creation and the fact that despite an extensive stream of literature discussing drivers of and success factors for alignment, the problem of reaching business/IT alignment is still not fully solved and alignment still ranks among the top three concerns of CIOs, we strive to explain alignment success based on the social structures present at the interface of business and IT on an operational level. While such structures at top management level are prominently discussed success factors of alignment, the analogues structures on the operational level have rarely been analyzed and there is a substantial gap in understanding the nature of these social structures and how they affect IT business value. We extend our prior research, which identified social patterns that are potentially beneficial for business/IT alignment, by adding detailed explanations of why these are beneficial for business/IT alignment. Hence, this paper contributes to existing research by providing new insights to the general assumption that social structures are important and by explaining why, despite the vivid discussion, still many firms fail to establish business/IT alignment. We find that strong bridges at the interface between business and IT, as well as strong connections of interface actors with their management and their unit are advantageous for the creation of IT/business knowledge, solidarity between IT and business and the power of the interface actors between IT and business, and in this way are beneficial for business/IT alignment.

Walentowitz, K., Beimborn, D., and Weitzel, T. (2010)
The Impact of Business/IT Social Network Structures on IT Service Quality
Proceedings of the 16th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Lima, Peru

View Abstract
In this paper, we explore the basic premise that IT service quality follows the structure of business/IT interactions and thus highlight an important organizational design issue in IT governance. Motivated by concepts used in social network theory we build a model that proposes a causal relationship between structural characteristics of social business/IT networks and IT service quality. The model is empirically evaluated and explained using case studies based on five interviews in three firms. Thus we extend the general assumption that the business/IT partnership is crucial for IT service quality by identifying structural characteristics of the network among and between business and IT staff which enhance this partnership. Important results are that strong and bridging ties at the business/IT interface are crucial for IT service quality and that a good integration of interface actors within their own unit supports IT service quality.