An Explanatory Case Study on Passenger Service Systems Adoption: A Taiwanese Air Carrier

Don Dong-hyun Lee, William Yu Chung Wang, Paul Leong


This study explains the adoption of Passenger Service Systems (PSS) in airlines through the lens of Inter-organizational Systems adoption and home-region orientation. It examined 20 causal factors influencing PSS adoption and tested an original research model in the technology–organization–environment context, by applying transactional cost theory and neo-institutional theory. Prior to a cross-case study across multiple airlines, the explanatory single-case research analyzed interview data from four informants with a Taiwanese carrier and multiple industry reports; the key findings highlight: (i) interoperable functionality and industry standards as external technological drivers strongly influenced full conversion to the PSS platform; (ii) within the organizational context, commitment to global network, organizational transformation and top management support were identified as salient internal factors in decision-making and resource allocation, while normative pressures from an alliance body exerted a stronger influence over the airline than any other isomorphic forces; and (iii) in the context of environment, full conversion was also facilitated by PSS vendors and powered by the need for mutual worldwide learning to effectively operate foreign markets from home region. This in-depth case study provides insights that PSS in a common-use environment can bring business value to PSS user airlines in accessing a broader global market, offering greater competitive services and expanding distribution channels. To increase causality and generalizability, future work involving an embedded multi-case study with three East Asian carriers will be undertaken.


passenger service systems adoption; inter-organizational systems; home-region orientation; the TOE framework; explanatory case study research

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Lee, D., Wang, W. and Leong, P. (2019). An Explanatory Case Study on Passenger Service Systems Adoption: A Taiwanese Air Carrier. Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 11(1), 25-64. doi: 10.17705/1pais.11102