Assessing IT Management's Performance: A Design Theory for Strategic IT Benchmarking

Katharina Ebner, Benjamin Mueller, Nils Urbach, Gerold Riempp, Helmut Krcmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given the continued economic pressure on information technology (IT) organizations, the effective and efficient delivery of IT remains a crucial issue for IT executives in order to optimize their department's performance. Due to company specifics, however, an absolute assessment of IT organizations' performance has often proven difficult in the past. Consequently, many IT executives revert to comparative assessments such as IT benchmarking. IT benchmarking has been increasingly used to support IT management, also on a strategic level. While past research on such strategic IT benchmarking (SITBM) often focused on process models and optimal peer group composition, many practitioners repeatedly report problems with identifying or developing suitable methods for collecting the data needed for SITBM. We introduce a design theory for SITBM methods and illustrate how we derived the theory from an SITBM project over a period of ten years. During that time, the method from which we abstract our design theory was applied in 102 different companies. We contribute to practice and theory by not only reporting a field-tested method for SITBM, but also by providing a design theoretical basis on how to develop such a method as a blueprint for IT managers that want to set up an SITBM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7384854
Pages (from-to)113-126
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Design theory (DT)
  • information technology (IT) performance measurement
  • strategic IT benchmarking (SITBM)
  • strategic IT management (ITM)


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