Ismail & King AIS alignment in Malaysian SMEs
Factors influencing the alignment of accounting information systems in small and medium sized Malaysian manufacturing firms
Noor Azizi Ismail*
Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Utara Malaysia Sintok 06010 UUM, Kedah, Malaysia Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Business School, Loughborough University Leicestershire LE11 3TU, United Kingdom Email: email@example.com * Corresponding author
Received 5 June 2007; Revised 16 July 2007; Re-revised 23 September 2007; Accepted 30 September 2007; Online 25 October 2007
Abstract The concept of alignment or fit between information technology (IT) and business strategy has been discussed for many years, and strategic alignment is deemed crucial in increasing firm performance. Yet few attempts have been made to investigate the factors that influence alignment, especially in the context of small and medium sized firms (SMEs). This issue is important because results from previous studies suggest that many firms struggle to achieve alignment. Therefore, this study sought to identify different levels of alignment and then investigated the factors that influence alignment. In particular, it focused on the alignment between the requirements for accounting information (AIS requirements) and the capacity of accounting systems (AIS capacity) to generate the information, in the specific context of manufacturing SMEs in Malaysia. Using a mail questionnaire, data from 214 firms was collected on nineteen accounting information characteristics for both requirements and capacity. The fit between these two sets was explored using the moderation approach and evidence was gained that AIS alignment in some firms was high. Cluster analysis was used to find two sets of groups which could be considered more aligned and less aligned. The study then investigated some factors that might be associated with... [continues]
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