Operations, Design and Policy
Edited by Rob Konings, Hugo Priemus and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 13: Interorganizational Coordination: The Role of Information Technology
Mariëlle den Hengst INTRODUCTION 13.1 In the New Economy, organizations must continuously change due to ongoing changes in the environment (Donaldson 1996). In trying to improve the performance of the organization, the focus has shifted from the organizational level towards the interorganizational level (Malone and Rockart 1991; McGrath and Hollingshead 1994). This growing interest in interorganizational coordination can be illustrated by several interrelated business trends, such as globalization, outsourcing of secondary activities, and technological developments. This chapter concentrates on the impact of technological developments on interorganizational coordination. Developments in information and communication technology (ICT) such as the World Wide Web, electronic data interchange and electronic mail can be seen as enablers to cross organizational boundaries more easily when dealing with information-intensive processes. In the beginning, the focus was on supporting existing interorganizational processes, for example the exchange of documents between organizations. One rapidly growing trend today is the emergence of new ways to do business, replacing the current businesses. Examples of this are the introduction of electronic trading markets, electronic auctions and electronic bookstores. This shows that ICT has developed from a minor force supporting interorganizational coordination into a dominant force for changing it (Buxmann and Gebauer 1998). Interorganizational coordination is an important element in intermodal transport. Many organizations with diﬀerent interests, cultures and core businesses are involved in intermodal transport. The processes of these organizations must increasingly be tuned to meet the ever-growing requirements of transport. Despite some successful initiatives to introduce ICT to support interorganizational coordination,...
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