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Abstract

This paper develops a perspective of interorganizational relationships based on the concept of exploitation of expertise. Insights from marketing channel theory and resource-based views of the firm are integrated to test the effects of expertise exploitation capabilities in electronic channels. The distinctiveness of this study is based on the role of information and computer technology in creating advantage through differential expertise. A model of IT-induced quasi-integration was developed and tested on a sample of 117 travel agencies targeted by American Airlines using the Sabre system and SMARTS. We find that while the degree of quasi-integration is moderately explained by the Sabre link, it is more significantly explained by American Airlines’ use of an expertise exploitation capability using SMARTS. These results show the necessity of extending the theoretical perspectives on IT-induced interorganizational relationships from an efficiency perspective to an expertise point of view.

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