Many organisations make extensive use of electronic linkages to facilitate their trading exchanges with partners such as suppliers, distributors and customers. This research explores how the use of inter-organisational systems (IOS) both affects, and is affected by, the relationships between trading partners. In doing this, it brings together two existing but distinct perspectives and literatures; the rational view informed by IOS research, and the behavioural or relationship perspective embodied in inter-organisational relationships (IOR) literature. The research was undertaken in the European paper industry by means of six dyadic case studies. The dyads studied covered both traditional electronic data interchange systems and newer e-marketplace environments. A framework was derived from existing literature that integrates the two perspectives of interest. The framework was used to analyse the case studies undertaken and enabled the inter-relationship between IOS use and IOR to be explained
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