A Comparison of Electronic Infrastructures in the Air Cargo Industry in the Netherlands and Hong Kong SAR

A Comparison of Electronic Infrastructures in the Air Cargo Industry in the Netherlands and Hong Kong SAR

Ellen Christiannse (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Jan Damsgaard (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2001040102
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Reasons behind the failure and success of large-scale information systems projects continue to intrigue researchers. In particular in the airline industry very successful (passenger reservation) systems have been built which have totally changed the competitive arena of the industry. On the cargo side however attempts to implement large-scale community systems have largely failed across the globe. Air cargo parties are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of IT and, increasingly, they understand the value that IOS could provide for the total value chain performance. However, whereas in other sectors IOSs have been very successful, there are only fragmented examples of successful global systems in the air cargo community and the penetration of IOS in the air cargo industry is by no means pervasive. This paper describes the genesis and evolution of two IOSs in the air cargo community and identifies plausible explanations that lead one to be a success and one to be a failure. It draws on extensive fieldwork in Europe and in Hong Kong SAR that is complemented by secondary data analysis of relevant trade and company literature. We argue that in these two cases the complex, institutional and technical choices by the initiators of the system in terms of their competitive implications that were the main causes for the systems failure. The paper thus concludes that it was the institutional factors involved in the relationships of the stakeholders that led to the opposite manifestations of the two initiatives, and that such factors should be taken into account when designing and implementing large-scale information systems.

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