Is Minimizing Interaction a Solution to Cultural and Maturity Inequality in Offshore Outsourcing?

Morten Hertzum, Jan Pries-Heje

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    Abstract

    Many companies consider and some undertake outsourcing of their software development activities. Often, information systems development is outsourced to vendors in different cultures or with a different level of software-process maturity. Recommendations for managing such offshore outsourcing arrangements typically involve more interaction between the client and the vendor to understand each other’s culture better, improve communication, form partnerships and the like. We have studied a client that did the opposite. On the basis of a case study, we describe how the interaction between the client and the vendor was minimized on purpose. What mechanisms were used? What worked and what did not? We conclude that minimizing interaction can be a viable strategy to follow when clients face large cultural and maturity inequality in offshoring their software development activities but that the strategy also has important limitations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBalancing Sourcing and Innovation in Information Systems Development
    EditorsMorten Hertzum, Carsten Jørgensen
    Number of pages21
    Place of PublicationTrondheim, NO
    PublisherTAPIR Akademisk Forlag
    Publication date2011
    Pages77-97
    Chapter4
    ISBN (Print)978-82-519-2758-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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