Strategic Alignment Model

The strategic alignment model (SAM) proposed by Henderson and Venkatraman is one of the most cited strategic alignment models (Chan and Reich, 2007a). SAM is composed of two main dimensions: strategic fit and functional integration. Strategic fit refers to the concordance between internal and external domains (see figure below). Functional integration refers to two type of integration between business and IT domains. The first type is termed strategic integration and reflects the link between business strategy and IT Strategy. The second type is termed operational integration and deals with the link between organizational infrastructure and process, and IT infrastructure and process (Henderson and Venkatraman 1993). SAM is a conceptual model that has been used to understand strategic alignment from the perspective of four components, i.e. Business Strategy, IT Strategy, Organizational Infrastructure and IT Infrastructure, and their interdependencies.[1]

Strategic Alignment Model
source: Toms IT Pro

In the figure above, the cross-domain alignment between business strategy and I/S infrastructure and processes depicts a classic linkage view prevalent today. The other type of alignment between I/T strategy and organizational infrastructure and processes reflects a view of automation of the work environment. Specifically, creating a linkage between business strategy and I/S infrastructures and processes requires the specification of work processes, roles and authority structures in order to relate how the I/S products and services will impact the business strategy. That is, the business strategy must be decomposed into work processes in order to define the requirements of the I/S infrastructure and processes. The automation type of cross-domain alignment represents the potential for emerging technology to change or alter organizational processes. This view emphasizes the potential value of I/T and how the I/S infrastructure and processes provide a service organization to support this potential. [2]

See Also

Strategic Management
Strategic Alignment Maturity Model
IT Value Mapping
Strategic Planning Cycle
Strategic Vision
Business IT Alignment
Business Strategy
Corporate Strategy
IT Strategy Framework
IT Capability
Business Capability
IT Vision
e-Business Strategy
IT Strategy
Strategic Alignment


  1. What is the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) Norman Vargas Chevez
  2. Explaining the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) Toms IT Pro