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Volume 2018, Article ID 9213237, 30 pages
Research Article

Impact of Business Interoperability on the Performance of Complex Cooperative Supply Chain Networks: A Case Study

UNIDEMI, Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica e Industrial, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

Correspondence should be addressed to Izunildo Cabral; tp.lnu.tcf@larbac.i

Received 6 October 2017; Accepted 12 December 2017; Published 7 February 2018

Academic Editor: Salvatore Cannella

Copyright © 2018 Izunildo Cabral and Antonio Grilo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper proposes an agent-based model for evaluating the effect of business interoperability on the performance of cooperative supply chain networks. The model is based on insights from the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing network approach and the complex systems theory perspective. To demonstrate its applicability, an explanatory case study regarding a Portuguese reverse logistics cooperative supply chain network is presented. Face-to-face interviews and forms were used to collect data. The findings show that the establishment of appropriate levels of business interoperability has helped to reduce several non-value-added interaction processes and consequently improve the operational performance of the Valorpneu network. Regarding the research implications, this paper extends the current knowledge on business interoperability and an important problem in business: how business interoperability gaps in dyadic organizational relationships affect the network of companies that the two companies belong to—network effect. In terms of practical implications, managers can use the proposed model as a starting point to simulate complex interactions between supply chain network partners and understand better how the performance of their networks emerges from these interactions and from the adoption of different levels of business interoperability.