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The challenges in digitalizing business relationshisp: The construction of an IT infrastructure for a textile-related business network
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2006 (English)In: Technovation, ISSN 0166-4972, Vol. 26, no 10, 1111-1126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the phenomenon of the digitalisation of buyer–seller relationships. We discuss and systematise the challenges of constructing an IT infrastructure capable of sustaining the inter-firm interactions necessary in a business network. In particular, we deal with two relevant main questions (1) how are IT tools constructed and introduced into business networks to sustain relationships and (2) what type of challenges emerge during such attempts to construct and introduce IT. Relying on the case of an IT project for the “Stella” network (an Italian home-textile network), we highlight the challenges related to resource heterogeneity and process complexity. Furthermore, we analyse the relevance of such issues as inter-firm trust, power and dependence in similar IT projects. Particular emphasis is then given to the possibility of the IT system representing not only the formal, but also the informal interactions among firms, and consequently, to the intrinsic limits to codifying relationships into rigid models. Even if the purpose of this paper is not to suggest generalised solutions to the above challenges, we describe how each of them was faced by the project team in the “Stella” network and we propose an indicative list of managerial implications relevant for all IT projects that stretch to whole business networks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 26, no 10, 1111-1126 p.
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-77371DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2005.09.016ISI: 000241126100002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-77371DiVA: diva2:105283
Available from: 2006-10-09 Created: 2006-10-09 Last updated: 2012-02-03Bibliographically approved

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