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Partnership outsourcing evolution: The process of creating and maintaining  a network of actors
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. (IT Management)
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth European Conference on Information Systems: University of St. Gallen, Switzerland / [ed] Österle H, Schelp J, Winter R, 2007, 1179-1189 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is an attempt to build on and extend existing outsourcing research by focusing on the process of managing an outsourcing partnership. Furthermore, it considers the role of information technology and the importance of establishing interorganizational trust in order to provide a deeper understanding of the partnership outsourcing phenomenon. The outsourcing partnership in focus in this paper is between Alpha Corp., a large minerals group, and RDC, its remote service provider. The paper shows that Alpha Corp.’s strategy for creating, maintaining and evolving the partnership with RDC occurs in three different stages: black-boxing of technology, establishing interorganizational trust, and performance based contracting. This study provides support for McFarlan and Nolan’s (1995, p. 22) claim that “What determines success or failure is managing the relationship less as a contract and more as a strategic alliance”. However, given the multiple roles information technology assumes in an outsourcing alliance, this paper also shows that understanding and managing the role of IT is just as crucial in maintaining a successful partnership. In addition, given the documented importance of information technology in outsourcing partnerships, there is a need to include trust in technology as yet another dimension in establishing interorganizational trust.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 1179-1189 p.
Keyword [en]
Partnership outsourcing, management strategies, inter-organizational trust
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43485OAI: diva2:414279
Fifteenth European Conference on Information Systems, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, June 7-9 2007
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Disentangling sociomateriality: an exploration of remote monitoring systems in interorganizational networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disentangling sociomateriality: an exploration of remote monitoring systems in interorganizational networks
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att dekonstruera sociomaterialitet : En undersökning av fjärrdiagnostiksystem i interorganisatoriska nätverk
Abstract [en]

Firmly placed in an industrial setting, this research explored the introduction of remote monitoring technology into three different organizational contexts. By following these organizations over time, starting with their intention to invest in remote monitoring systems (RMS), there was a unique opportunity to witness their processes and to gain an insight into the intricacies of information technology (IT) and organizational transformation. The main question that this research sought to answer was thus: How is IT implicated in the remote monitoring of industrial equipment?

Previous information systems research has been accused of not paying enough attention to the material, that is, of not being specific about technology. This research adopted a sociomaterial perspective, thus recognizing the constitutive entanglement of the material and the social, and thereby acknowledging their mutual dependency. However, in order to provide specific insights about the material, an analytical disentanglement was performed, by extending the concept of agency from a focus on “the what” to include “the how”. Change was thus studied by not only asking what the nature of change is and who or what causes change to occur, but by also tracing how change is enacted, thus capturing both material and social agency as well as tracing their entanglement.

This research employed a broad approach, designed to provide a profound and extensive account of the studied phenomenon. Consequently, the thesis explored value creation, sourcing routines, partnership formation and innovative practices all related to remote diagnostics design and use. In addition, the research was qualitative and used interpretive case studies as the main methodology.

A composite finding of this research is that an RMS, with its ability to collect, transmit, store, and analyze specific contextual information across time and space, provides opportunities for boundary-spanning activities manifested as the formation of interorganizational networks. Furthermore, by tracing the information capabilities of the IT, and by being specific about the material, it has been possible to explore how RMSs have the potential to influence both organizational form and content. Through the examination of RMSs within interorganizational networks and as a part of value creation practices, this research has also shown how the organizational form and content have the potential to influence RMSs; their design, use, and material affordances. This research also placed focus on the importance of trust and has shown that trust in technology is established through trust in people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för informatik, Umeå Universitet, 2011. 113 p.
Research reports in informatics, ISSN 1401-4572 ; RR-11.02
Remote monitoring systems, interorganizational networks, value creation, trust, sociomateriality
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43488 (URN)978-91-7459-221-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-01, MA 121, MIT-huset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2011-05-09 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved

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Westergren, Ulrika H.
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