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The Coordination of Inter-Organizational Networks in the Enterprise Software Industry

The Perspective of Complementors

Series:

Thomas Kude

In the enterprise software industry, large platform vendors have established partner networks with smaller providers of complementary solutions. This study takes the perspective of these complementors. How do they coordinate their partnerships with platform vendors? What are the circumstances under which different coordination mechanisms lead to partnership success? Based on existing theories and the findings from extensive qualitative research, a new explanatory model is developed. The study contributes to theory building efforts in the Information Systems discipline as well as in adjacent fields by providing a better understanding of partnership coordination and success. The implications for successful partnership management are highly relevant for practitioners.

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1.1 Idealized hub-and-spoke network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2 Research approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 2.1 Enterprise software in a layered stack model . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.2 Vertical organization of the early IT industry . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 2.3 Horizontal organization of the IT industry around 1995 . . . . . . 13 2.4 Enterprise software as an additional layer in the horizontally or- ganized IT industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 2.5 Network types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2.6 Openness versus control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.7 A model of hub-and-spoke networks in the enterprise software in- dustry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 2.8 Preliminary research framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 4.1 Explanatory model of the degree of spoke’s organizational coupling 73 4.2 Explanatory model of the spoke’s partnership success . . . . . . . 75 5.1 Perceived complementarity of hub’s reputation and organizational coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 5.2 Perceived complementarity of technological, commercial capital and organizational coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 5.3 Perceived complementarity of technological, commercial capital and organizational coupling for different levels of availability of IOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 5.4 Perceived complementarity of technological, commercial capital and organizational coupling for different levels of knowledge-sharing routines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 5.5 Degree of organizational coupling and perceived threat of oppor- tunistic behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 xiv List of Figures 5.6 Revised model of spoke’s organizational coupling . . . . . . . . . . 160 5.7 Revised model of spoke’s partnership success . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

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