This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining Strategic Fit for the Interorganizational Network: An Empirical Investigation of the Health Care Integrated Delivery System




Thrasher, Evelyn

Type of Degree





In response to the calls for IT research at the interorganizational network level of analysis, this study examined the phenomenon of strategic fit at this level. Health care integrated delivery systems (IDS) were chosen as distinct and useful examples of interorganizational networks. IDSs may take a number of organizational forms, namely strategic alliances, contracted networks, or joint ventures and, in many cases, may be made up of multiple forms within a single network. The multiplicity of organizational structures and the variance in the levels of IT integration and sophistication across different IDSs make the IDS a good source of investigation regarding interorganizational networks. As such, this study empirically tested a model of strategic fit for the interorganizational network. In particular, the influence of strategic fit between IT integration and sophistication and interorganizational integration on both quality and financial performance was examined. Further, the study made comparisons across two groups of IDSs, mature and immature, to quantify the potential differences in the nature and strength of the strategic fit to performance relationship across two distinct levels of IDS maturity. The study employed primary survey data and secondary data obtained from HIMSS Analytics and the American Hospital Directory for 75 health care IDSs currently active in the United States. Empirical testing was conducted using PLS-Graph, and multigroup comparisons were made using t-tests. This study produced mixed, but favorable, results. The classification process produced evidence of strategic fit among health care IDSs. The findings of the empirical model illuminated the need for greater IT integration, interorganizational integration, and the strategic alignment of the two if IDSs are to be successful.