Document Type

Theses, Masters


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Master Thesis

Master thesis


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Dublin Institute of Technology, 2005.


The purpose of this study is to review and empirically examine the literature on the implementation, use and diffusion of Inter-Organisational Systems (IOS) between retailers and suppliers. The study is set in the Irish grocery industry, which brings a significant contextual dimension to the study. Following a research paradigm known as ‘Pragmatism’, the researcher used both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews) data collection methods in an effort to answer the three primary objectives set out. This mixed-method approach is encouraged by Pragmatists, as each data set can be triangulated; ensuring more conclusive and robust findings. The objectives set about examining the experiences and attitudes of suppliers towards ISO with a view to identifying key areas that both suppliers and retailers can address to enable greater levels of adoption and usage, as well as developing a model of ISO implementation depicting the process of adoption, implementation and usage for both retailers and suppliers. A key contribution of the study is the development of this new model, which borrows from and amalgamates two different approaches to modularising ISO implementation. The study confirms that as both retailers and suppliers evolve along the stages of implementation identified, the level of benefits achieved increase, as do user-capabilities, and overall satisfaction with ISO. In addition the findings show that retailer initiation and implementation strategies are proving a rather contentious issue amongst suppliers and may be contributing to their apparent lack of commitment to ISO at the early stages of implementation. Recommendations and conclusions based on these findings are presented for retailers, suppliers and interested industry agencies and it is hoped that the study may assist in further diffusion and implementation of IOS amongst retailers and suppliers in the Irish grocery industry.





Document Type

Master thesis