Knowledge transfer in software-maintenance offshore outsourcing

Krancher, Oliver (2013). Knowledge transfer in software-maintenance offshore outsourcing. (Dissertation, Universität Bern, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik)

13krancher_o.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Software-maintenance offshore outsourcing (SMOO) projects have been plagued by tedious knowledge transfer during the service transition to the vendor. Vendor engineers risk being over-strained by the high amounts of novel information, resulting in extra costs that may erode the business case behind offshoring. Although stakeholders may desire to avoid these extra costs by implementing appropriate knowledge transfer practices, little is known on how effective knowledge transfer can be designed and managed in light of the high cognitive loads in SMOO transitions. The dissertation at hand addresses this research gap by presenting and integrating four studies. The studies draw on cognitive load theory, attributional theory, and control theory and they apply qualitative, quantitative, and simulation methods to qualitative data from eight in-depth longitudinal cases. The results suggest that the choice of appropriate learning tasks may be more central to knowledge transfer than the amount of information shared with vendor engineers. Moreover, because vendor staff may not be able to and not dare to effectively self-manage learn-ing tasks during early transition, client-driven controls may be initially required and subsequently faded out. Collectively, the results call for people-based rather than codification-based knowledge management strategies in at least moderately specific and complex software environments.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems > Information Engineering
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems

UniBE Contributor:

Krancher, Oliver


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations


[229] IT Outsourcing Governance
[230] Knowledge Transfer in IT Outsourcing




Oliver Krancher

Date Deposited:

22 May 2014 17:46

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2014 08:45



Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Knowledge transfer, Outsourcing, Offshoring, Software maintenance, Learning, Cognitive load, Control theory, Mixed methods




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback