Interorganizational Systems and Supply Chain Agility in Uncertain Environments: The Mediation Role of Supply Chain Collaboration

Jingmei Zhou, Ting Xu, Yuchi Chiao (Contributor), Y. Fang (Contributor)

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Supply chain agility has been recognized as a key capability for firms working to achieve superior performance in uncertain business environments. Supply chain agility is challenging to achieve, however, because it requires the firm and its supply chain partners to collaborate closely yet flexibly across organizational boundaries. Extending the boundary object literature to the supply chain context, this study unveils the mechanism through which interorganizational systems (IOS), widely deployed to span organizational boundaries through inter-firm digital connections, promote supply chain agility in uncertain environments. The concept of supply chain collaboration (SCC) is introduced as the mediating mechanism between two key IOS characteristics (i.e., standardization and adaptability) and supply chain agility. Environmental uncertainty is incorporated as the contextual condition through contextualized theorization of IOS as boundary objects. The resulting hypotheses are tested via a two-wave, match-paired survey study on business and IT executives in 156 manufacturing firms. Empirical findings provide general support to most hypotheses, and implications for theory development and professional practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Systems Research
Early online date7 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 7 Apr 2023


  • IOS adaptability
  • IOS standardization
  • supply chain collaboration
  • supply chain agility
  • environmental uncertainty


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