IOS project motivation as a determinant of project activities and business capabilities


Interorganizational systems (IOS) are a relatively common technology in mid-to-large organizations,

and much research has been conducted into why firms adopt these systems, and the types of benefits

obtained. However, IOS development projects, which is where the adoption becomes crystallized, and

where specific ways to use an IOS are made possible, has been largely ignored and so are poorly understood. In this paper, we describe the IOS Motivation Model that explains how motivation determines project activities within the limits imposed by environmental affordances. We argue that motivation — the reason an IOS project is initiated — is a key determinant of the activities performed in a

project and, through these activities, the types of business capabilities obtained. Two motivation types,

activity control and market position, are explained in detail. Two case studies are then presented to

exemplify IOS implementation projects that correspond to these two motivation types, and illustrate

more clearly how motivation influences the pattern of activities performed in an IOS project. This is

important for firms planning IOS implementation projects and for researchers in understanding the

importance of IOS project-level motivation and its interaction with organizational strategy

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