The Emergence of Formal Control Specificity in Information Systems Outsourcing: A Process-View

Huber, Thomas; Fischer, Thomas; Kirsch, Laurie; Dibbern, Jens (2014). The Emergence of Formal Control Specificity in Information Systems Outsourcing: A Process-View. In: Hirschheim, Rudy; Heinzl, Armin; Dibbern, Jens (eds.) Information Systems Outsourcing. Progress in IS: Vol. 4 (pp. 141-185). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer 10.1007/978-3-662-43820-6_7

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Information systems (IS) outsourcing projects often fail to achieve initial goals. To avoid project failure, managers need to design formal controls that meet the specific contextual demands of the project. However, the dynamic and uncertain nature of IS outsourcing projects makes it difficult to design such specific formal controls at the outset of a project. It is hence crucial to translate high-level project goals into specific formal controls during the course of a project. This study seeks to understand the underlying patterns of such translation processes. Based on a comparative case study of four outsourced software development projects, we inductively develop a process model that consists of three unique patterns. The process model shows that the performance implications of emergent controls with higher specificity depend on differences in the translation process. Specific formal controls have positive implications for goal achievement if only the stakeholder context is adapted, while they are negative for goal achievement if in the translation process tasks are unintendedly adapted. In the latter case projects incrementally drift away from their initial direction. Our findings help to better understand control dynamics in IS outsourcing projects. We contribute to a process theoretic understanding of IS outsourcing governance and we derive implications for control theory and the IS project escalation literature.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

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:

Huber, Thomas; Fischer, Thomas and Dibbern, Jens

Subjects:

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

2196-8705

ISBN:

978-3-662-43819-0

Series:

Progress in IS

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fabio Elia Isler

Date Deposited:

19 Aug 2015 10:21

Last Modified:

19 Aug 2015 10:21

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/978-3-662-43820-6_7

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/71090

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