Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PhD in Business


Department of Information and Process Management

First Advisor

M. Lynne Markus

Second Advisor

Jane Fedorowicz

Third Advisor

Christina Soh


The purpose of this dissertation is to understand the role of governance in successful information technology-intensive interorganizational relationships (IT-IORs). The importance of IT in IT-IORs means that in addition to the challenges associated with managing organizational relationships there are also challenges that come with IT that crosses organizational boundaries. This dissertation explores these challenges and the relationship between technology and governance in three essays. Governance is broadly defined as organizational design—the structure and formal and informal coordination mechanisms that are used for achieving direction, control and coordination. Central to each essay is the concept of "fit"—from its roots in contingency theory to its future potential in focusing on the interaction between organizations and the promise of IT. The findings in Essay 1 suggest there is still value in using the early conceptualizations of fit. The "fit as matching" perspective enables a better understanding of the importance of "good governance" on performance by detangling formal coordination mechanisms, contingencies and IT-IOR success. Essay 2 provides empirical evidence that configurational thinking, based on the "fit as gestalts" view of fit, has much promise and that the novel Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) method is one way of exploring this complex view of fit using configurations of structure and formal and informal coordination mechanisms. Essay 3 contributes to evolving views of fit in IS research by empirically examining instances of the affordances and constraints—the potential—of technology as well as specific examples of actualization through organizational design changes in a single organization over its 40+ year lifespan. In general, the dissertation suggests that fit is achieved, and organizational success realized, when the potential of IT and the design of an organization are aligned.