We set out in this study to analyse the impact of institutional distance on the cross-border interorganizational system (IOS) adoption and assimilation. This study begins with an introduction of two crucial constructs, i.e. institutional distance and interdependence, and then distinguishes IOS adoption from IOS assimilations. These static portraits are the basis by which we explore the relationship between institutional distance and IOS adoption and assimilation. Subsequently we present a theoretical model of the three dimensions of institutional distance’s impact on cross border IOS adoption and IOS assimilation and explore the interplay between organizational interdependence and institutional distances (i.e. regulatory distance, normative distance and cognitive distance) on the adoption and assimilation of cross-border IOS. Finally, we discuss the potential contributions and limitations of the study, as well as ideas about related future research. Throughout the study, we use the institutional theory as a means of integrating discussion and survey approach is chosen to collect data and empirically test the model in future research. The potential theoretical contributions are mainly made to institutional theory and international interorganizational system application. Meanwhile this study provides explanations of why the cross border IOS adoption and assimilation in certain countries outperform those of other countries.