Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version

Spring 4-18-2014


Hollman, A. K. (2014). Structures and relationships between the business executive and information technology executive: A mixed methods study. (Doctoral dissertation).


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership and Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Brent Cejda. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Angela K. Hollman


This study uses an explanatory mixed methods methodology to attempt to determine the reporting relationships between business and IT executives within the university. The study also explores IT and business executives thoughts on these relationships. Supporting research from organizational studies and business-IT alignmfent is combined in order to enhance the study. In the first quantitative phase, an exploratory factor analysis is used to determine organizational dimension factors while simple response and frequency analysis are used to model the top occurring organizational structures between IT and business executives. The second qualitative phase used semi-structured interviews with 12 random CIOs and CFOs to further explore the top three models and organizational dimensions.

The study found that while CIOs and CFOs said that the organizational structure was not important, a place on the executive team was highly desired. This was further supported by the exploratory factor analysis in phase 1. Other findings indicated that the university environment is unique from that of private industry with the additional component of academia and often combined position of the CFO. The changing role and function of IT was noted by both CFOs and CIOs which has led to the need for IT to be highly involved in university strategy as well as the need for more collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. The findings in this study echo some of the previous findings in business-IT alignment and organizational study research. Universities should reflect on these findings since reporting relationships between business and IT are affecting the academic environment as well as private industry.

Adviser: Brent Cejda