Ships & Roses: A Revelatory Case Study of Affordances in International Trade

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedings




International trade involves crossing several organizational boundaries. This revelatory case study follows fresh cut roses’ journey from the growers in Kenya to the retail distribution in Holland and shows relatively high barriers related to the associated activities, information and documents, etc. Our empirical findings reveal the serious limitation that existing inter-organizational system (IOS) only facilitates actor-to-actor information forwarding in a communication chain of peer-to-peer communication along the supply chain and has no provision for persistent and simultaneous exchange of information between multiple actors. To address this limitation, we conducted a comparative analysis of affordances of the existing vs. future inter-organizational information systems with a focus on sharing critical information. Our extended analysis shows that modern IT features supporting affordances could be useful for the actors’ collaboration in the trade lane of the roses. We discuss some of the benefits of our proposed approach (e.g. lower transaction cost and real time information) but also raise some concerns (e.g. about trust and governance) which calls for further research.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2015 Proceedings
EditorsJörg Becker, Jan vom Brocke, Marco De Marco
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2015
Article number88
ISBN (Print)9783000502842
StatePublished - 2015
EventThe 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2015 - Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany
Duration: 26 May 201529 May 2015
Conference number: 23


ConferenceThe 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2015
LocationWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems

    Research areas

  • Inter-organizational systems, International trade, Activity framework theory, Affordances, Information infrastructure, Supply chain analysis

ID: 43848954