Inter-Organizational Information Systems as a Tool for Computer-Supported Co-Operative Work
Computer Sciences Company, London
Business enterprises and other organizations use more and more outside services to support the conducting of their business activities. Increased efficiency and a more . professional way of working can many times be achieved by using these services than by doing everything in-house. Examples of this externalization of business can be seen in all kind of services, from cleaning services to core functions of companies such as advertising, marketing in general, warehouse functions, etc. This means that working is no more conducted as a group work inside companies. Most activities needing group work actually occur between organizations. Techniques for supporting co-operation between people in different organizations must clearly be developed. The concept of inter-organizational information systems offers an excellent basis for this kind of analysis. Interorganizational information systems can be seen as tools for enterprises and their employees to conduct cooperative work. This study reports results of an empirical study conducted in a large insurance company. To evaluate the information systems of the company a framework based on the transaction cost theory is developed. In this framework, computer-based systems are supposed to lower the transaction costs involved in the work.