The continuing mismatch between IT governance maturity theory and practice: A new approach

Daniël Smits*, Jos Van Hillegersberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
161 Downloads (Pure)


IT governance (ITG) has stayed a challenging matter for years. Research suggests the existence of a gap between theoretical frameworks and practice. Although current ITG research is largely focused on hard governance (structure, processes), soft governance (behavior, collaboration) is equally important and might be crucial to close the gap. The goal of this study is to determine if there remains a mismatch and test the usability of a new ITG maturity model. We conducted a systematic literature review to create an overview of available ITG maturity models, used one of these in ten case studies and evaluated its usability. The study shows five new models were introduced, and only one of the new ITG maturity models covers hard and soft ITG in detail. This model and corresponding instrument was used to test its usability in practice. The instrument was evaluated positively on usability; but feedback also revealed that the assessment questions needed improvements. We demonstrate that combining the instrument with structured interviews results in an enhanced and usable instrument to determine an organization's current level of hard and soft ITG. We conclude that this new instrument demonstrates a way to reduce the mismatch between ITG maturity theory and practice.


  • "IT governance
  • Informal organization
  • IT governance maturity
  • Organizational culture."
  • Soft governance


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