Pre-requisites of successful strategic electronic coordination: the moderation effect of the ownership mechanism of inter-organisational information systems

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In this paper, we attempt to explain how the ownership mechanism of an interorganisational information system (IOS) may impact strategic information exchange (electronic coordination) induced by specific investments in the IOS. Recent research and practice show that heavy investments in IOSs demonstrate mixed results with respect to their impact on the electronic coordination. Consequently, the search of additional factors is needed to help and explain under what circumstances the IOS investments for strategic purposes become beneficial for the companies in a buyersupplier dyad. Transaction cost economics (TCE) and the hostage model are used as a framework for the research. 198 observations of Norwegian companies in different branches of industry constitute the base of the empirical study. A buyer-supplier dyad is the unit of the analysis. A regression model of the relation between the IOS ownership mechanism and the strategic information sharing is used to test two hypotheses about the buyer-supplier collaboration via an IOS. The results demonstrate that the risk of unilateral specific investments in an IOS made by the buyer or the seller is attenuated by the ownership mechanism of the IOS. The willingness of a buyer to share their strategic information with the supplier via the IOS increases if the supplier invests in the IOS which is owned and controlled by the buyer. Conversely, the supplier becomes motivated to share certain sensitive strategic information with the buying company if the latter invests in the IOS which is owned and controlled by the supplier.

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