On the Relation between Information Technology and Internorganizational Competitive Advantage: A Competence Perspective
Developments in Information Technology (IT) are perceived to be a major driver of interorganizational cooperation, both within and across industry boundaries. These developments have challenged the creation of interorganizational competitive advantages, as conceptualized in the Relational View (e.g. Dyer & Singh, 1998). The relationship between IT and effectuated interorganizational competitive advantage, however, is still unclear. This chapter is a first attempt to shed light on this unexplored area in the literature. We focus our analysis on developing a conceptual framework of the relationship between IT and interorganizational resource complementarity, which is an important determinant of interorganizational competitive advantage. Our framework suggests that cooperating organizations need to develop three distinctive but interrelated capabilities in order to effectuate interorganizational resource complementarity by means of IT. It is proposed that these capabilities give rise to interorganizational competence building, forming a pre-condition for achieving interorganizational competitive advantage. Preliminary support for our framework and proposition is provided by a brief case study of an interorganizational relationship between a large European financial services firm and a major European telecommunication firm.