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Volume 16 / Issue 13

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-016-13-1776


Information Support Services for Intermediation Tasks of Collaborative Networks

Heiko Thimm (Pforzheim University, Germany)

Karsten Boye Rasmussen (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)

Abstract: Companies in collaborative networks require intermediation to perform. The collaborative network forms the breeding environment for the configuration of a Virtual Enterprise that can handle a business request. This configuration task can be supported by IT services. For collaborative networks such as production networks focused on non-digital services and products we propose to assign specific intermediation tasks to a human network moderator supported by these IT services. The obvious support is targeted for the configuration of the Virtual Enterprise i.e. the search and selection from the available products, services, and competences found among the network participants. The configuration decision can jeopardize the network performance by harming the trust necessary to build new Virtual Enterprises. Through a further intermediation task trust can be inspired and promoted in the network. This article shows how the configuration is supported by a Decision Support Service and how a Transparency Support Service supports the downloading and acceptance of decisions in collaborative networks. The article outlines the IT supportive service system and exemplifies the use by a scenario example. Results on intermediation in collaborative networks can prove helpful for general service science problems.

Keywords: collaborative work, decision support, network moderation and intermediation, organizational trust, service science, virtual organizations

Categories: H.3.5, H.4.2, K.4.4, L.6.1, L.6.2