Alignment in an inter-organisational network: the case of ARC transistance

Publication Type:

Journal Article


European Journal of Information Systems, Volume 25, Issue 6, p.553–568 (2016)



We consider the processes of achieving alignment in coordinated inter-organizational networks through a case study of a system development project in ARC Transistance, a network of European automobile clubs that cooperate to provide pan-European service. The theoretical contribution of the paper is, first, an extended strategic alignment model for inter-organizational networks that distinguishes between integration of IS with business strategy and infrastructure, and what we label `accordance' between the strategies and infrastructures of the network and the member firms. Second, we propose that for a network organization, network and member strategies might be complementary as well as tightly coupled. We similarly argue that IS architectures for networks should strive for being `business strategy-neutral' to more easily accommodate the diversity of members. Finally, we discuss how the process of developing a network information system can be a driver towards network alignment, but how the lack of effective governance structures makes alignment harder to achieve.