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Abstract

Since the 1980s, the retail and consumer goods industries have been making very extensive use of EDI-based data exchange and subsequently developed the vision of Efficient Consumer Response (ECR). In the meantime, a growing number of studies report that poor data quali¬ty, in particular out¬dated or wrong product information, negatively impacts demand and supply chain performance. Whereas prior literature intensively studied the positive effects of information sharing on the coordination of supply and demand, this research is aimed at establishing a basis for understanding the phenomena of the underlying inter-organizational product information supply chain. Using coordination theory as an overarching framework, the main research contribution is a set of dependencies, coordination problems, and coordination mechanisms that characterize the product information supply chain. From an analysis of two retailer-manufacturer relationships, we conclude that flow and sharing dependencies evolve into reciprocal dependencies as the intensity of demand and supply collaboration increases. We also find that industry standards ?notably Global Data Synchronization (GDS) ?do not yet fully cover the inter-organizational coordination requirements that result from the identified set of sharing and flow dependencies.

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