Contractual and Consensual Profiles for an Interorganizational Governance of Information Technology

  •  Anne Croteau    
  •  François Bergeron    
  •  Jason Dubsky    


Two profiles of interorganizational governance of IT were obtained from interviews conducted with leaders
involved in setting the governance mechanism needed to support successful IT collaboration with their business
partners. Three attributes, based on literature from network governance streams, were used to uncover those
profiles. They are the IT governance structure, the processes put in place to make decisions, and the roles of
participants involved in setting the interorganizational governance mechanisms. Observed profiles share a
continuum where the Contractual profile is at one end, and the Consensual profile is at the other end. Some
performance variations among the two profiles exist, yet both profiles contribute to successful
interorganizational relationships. These profiles were uncovered from seven case studies conducted in Canadian
organizations. Through fifteen interviews with senior interorganizational IT governance committee members and
IT executives, the critical IT governance mechanisms they employed were identified. Two cases are reported in
this article, each one illustrating respectively the Contractual and the Consensual profiles.

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