Investigating the intangible: Lessons learnt from research into automotive inter-organisational IT systems

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 4, Number 4, p.354-373 (2004)



The role of Information Technology (IT) as a source of competitive advantage and enabler of advanced supply chain management in inter-organisational systems is hardly in question. E-commerce, trade-exchanges and online transactions are just a few of these enabling features. The thrust and volume of studies reflect this critical role, yet recent research reflects more qualitative and case-based research designs. This is in part due to the intangible nature of IT systems, and the resulting difficulties of visualisation and quantification. This paper reviews the main research methods in IT, based on the lessons learnt from a three-year research programme in the automotive industry, and concludes with a generic framework on how both qualitative and quantitative methods can be integrated to provide a more holistic understanding of IT in inter-organisational systems. Copyright © 2004 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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