An Empirical Appraisal of EDI Implementation Strategies

Gregory E. Truman
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 2, Number 4, Summer 1998, pp. 43.

Abstract: The objective of this research is to advance understanding of and insight into how performance outcomes are associated with varying patterns of electronic data interchange (EDI) use. In conceptualizing EDI use, we argue that two contrasting models exist: a volume strategy and a diversity strategy. Each model provides alternative tactics for proceeding with EDI implementation. The study explores how these strategies are associated with performance outcomes with data from North American insurance companies. Weak associations between EDI use and efficiency performance outcomes showed that a volume strategy did not yield the expected improvements in efficiency performance in this sample but that a diversity strategy may yield improvements. More generally, the study showed that an understanding of how performance outcomes are related to these strategies may inform EDI planning efforts, regardless of whether an organization proactively or reactively proceeds with EDI implementation.

Key Words and Phrases: electronic data interchange, interorganizational information systems, strategic information systems.