MIS Quarterly Executive


The provision of multi-organizational time-critical services requires integrated data exchange across partners, but achieving this technical goal requires sustained and comprehensive attention to inter-organizational relationships and governance mechanisms. This article first describes a general framework that captures the requirements for multi-organizational collaboration for different time-critical contexts in response to routine or ad hoc events. It then uses this framework to describe a multiorganizational information technology collaboration for the provision of 24/7 emergency medical services, involving public, private, and not-for-profit organizations in San Mateo County, CA. This example demonstrates that a timely and well-orchestrated response relies heavily on data exchange via shared IT systems, inter-organizational relationships and governance mechanisms for collaboration. The article concludes by providing five lessons that can be applied to time-critical service contexts of different scale and scope.