Most research about relationships and networks concentrates on social bonds such as trust and commitment. Little research considers technical bonds and how they interact with social bonds within a relationship. Thus this research investigates how technical bonds of information technology link with social bonds in the relationship between two organisations in a business system, in particular, between a franchisor and franchisees within a franchise system. First, a framework of the structure of a relationship between business alliance partners was synthesised from the business-to-business literature. Then Australian franchisors were surveyed about the effects of their investments in information technology upon their franchisor-franchisee relationship. Structural equation modelling techniques were used to analyse the survey data. The results provided support for the framework, with the franchisor’s increased technical competence from information technology improving the social bonds in a relationship but those bonds being secondary to further technical investment. An implication for managers is that investments in information technology operate through the social bonds within their business.