E-collaboration, defined as “collaboration among individuals engaged in a common task using electronic technologies” (Kock, Davison, Ocker, & Wazlawick, 2001), is increasingly gaining relevance at the interorganizational level because of the growing practice of working with dispersed project teams across the globe. E-collaboration links together partners on projects and business processes that cross legal boundaries, as is the case, for example, in supply chains and in product lifecycle management (PLM) teams. General purpose computer-based collaboration tools like the Internet, e-mails, instant messaging, discussion boards, groupware, portals, blogs, and wikis are commonly used for e-collaboration (Fichter, 2005), while task-specific tools exist for many interorganizational activities such as PLM or collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Contract: A written or oral instrument of relationship governance that delineates the authority and responsibility of parties engaged in an exchange relationship, and includes actions to be performed by parties and redress mechanisms.
Bargaining Power: Refers to the ability of a firm to bring about cost-free, intended changes in its partner business firm’s behavior.
E-Collaboration: Collaboration among individuals or groups engaged in a common task using electronic technologies.
Governance Mechanisms: A set of responses to conditions of uncertainty, dependence, and opportunism that exists in a business relationship.
Trust: A psychological state that rests upon expectations and beliefs of one party that another party will act in a certain manner, given that the trusting party is in some way vulnerable under conditions of risk and interdependency to actions by the other party.
Interorganizational Collaboration: The use of information and communication technologies to support sharing of information among business partners to attain predetermined objectives.
Information sharing: Sharing of relevant data that fit the organization or project team’s task in hand.