Author(s): Li F, Williams H
Abstract: Since the late 1980s, interfirm (computer) networks have been diffusing very rapidly. They have not only been adopted by firms across the whole spectrum of sectors; the applications based on such networks have also been extended from routine transactions to strategically more important processes. Using recent evidence gathered from six in-depth cases studies in the UK and a telephone-based survey, this paper will illustrate how the development of interfirm networks has facilitated the emergence of new interfirm collaboration in strategic areas. The empirical evidence has been drawn from the retailing, motor manufacturing and electronics industries. To conclude, the paper will highlight several key issues that have emerged from the study, identify three layers of barriers to the development of interfirm networks, and outline a future research agenda.
Keywords: Interfirm network interfirm relation strategic collaboration EDI barriers to interfirm working