Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Allen S. Lee

Second Advisor

H. Roland Weistroffer

Third Advisor

Robert Andrews

Fourth Advisor

Steven Alter

Fifth Advisor

Jeanne W. Ross


A review of the research related to Information Technology (IT) governance reveals that researchers have yet to use systems theory directly as a basis for understanding IT governance; however, analysis of these researchers’ various definitions of IT governance shows a concurrence between these definitions and the characteristics of a system. This case study research adopts a systems imagination to observe IS and IT governance in the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which has a budget of over $5 billion and over 7,500 employees and has recently conducted a strategic assessment of its IT organization - including IS and IT governance.

The case study posits that VDOT is an indivisible, purposeful, goal seeking (teleological) system where (1) there are three peer elements (governance, management, and operations); (2) there is a governance feedback mechanism (auditing and monitoring); (3) there are peer areas within the governance element that are specialized for a VDOT asset (e.g., capital asset governance, financial governance, human resource governance, etc.) and IS governance is the peer area that is specialized for IT assets; and (4) there are sub-peer areas within IS governance that are specialized for an IT, and this specialized form of IS governance is named IT governance.


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