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New collaboration between firms: the role of inter-organisational systems

Williams, H.P. and Li, F. (2001) New collaboration between firms: the role of inter-organisational systems. Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 5. pp. 5034-5043. ISSN 1530-1605

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Abstract

Interorganizational systems (IOS) can play an important role in stabilising the relationship between firms. More recent evidence suggests that such systems can also facilitate new collaboration between firms in strategic areas. However, successful inter-firm collaboration depends not only on the technological support of IOS, but also a wide range of other, non-technological factors. Using recent evidence gathered from six intensive case studies and the result of a survey in the UK, this paper illustrates some new strategic collaborations between firms, and examines the role of IOS in these processes. In particular, the paper will conceptualise the main technological and non-technological barriers to the success of IOS in a three-layered model, and discuss some key lessons emerging from the study. Three themes for further research will also be highlighted.