Lateral mechanisms are used to promote coordination across independent, highly autonomous IS subunits in large, complex organizations. Effective coordination offers significant opportunities to gain economies of scale and scope while maintaining the benefits of sub-unit independence. The objective of this study is to develop a deeper understanding of the factors and contingencies that determine the choice and effectiveness of various coordination mechanisms in a federated IS governance context. This paper presents a review of the theoretical foundations of lateral relationships, the conceptual model of the study, a detailed review of the role of coordination mechanisms, and ends with the study’s research model and specific research propositions. This paper describes an in-depth, longitudinal case study that is currently in process.