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Taking relationship determinants extracted from the outsourcing theories Table 1 , previously mentioned researchers and also the studies of Claybaugh and Srite , Lee et al. Is a support from top executives to "overcome the inevitable divergence of interests between participants" and "to share an understanding of the specific benefits of collaboration" [12, p.
The above mentioned determinants are placed in the Table 2 according to the frequency of their citation by the researchers. For example, trust was mentioned ten times in the research papers whereas participation and confidentiality only once. These determinants are further used during the data collection phase to construct the interview questions and during the data analysis phase as a coding scheme for data analysis. The research strategy we have applied in this study is case study research strategy in order to identify and prioritize IT outsourcing determinants in the relationships between the IT outsourcing recipient and the IT outsourcing provider.
For this purpose and based on the literature review, we have constructed a set of sixteen IT outsourcing relationship determinants Table 2. This set of determinants was used as an outline for the interviews. Consequently, the data was collected through five interviews which were carried out in June among three decision-makers from the outsourcing recipient company A and two decision-makers from the outsourcing provider company B.
All the interviewees in these two companies had more than 7 years of experience in IT area. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Information about the interviewee, positions in the company, the date and duration of the interview are presented in the Table 3.
The two companies A and B are Swedish companies and thus this is considered a case of domestic outsourcing. Moreover, the companies were in the post-contract stage of their IT outsourcing relationships, which lasted for more than three years. In order to achieve data triangulation, we also considered internal documents, protocols and contracts from companies A and B in the data collection.
Table 3. Information about the interviewee company and their position in the company, and the date and duration of interview. In order to analyze the data obtained during the interviews we have used content analysis method that was applied as a structured method. According to Denscombe [24, p. As the first step of the suggested method we have chosen the five interviews as the samples of text to analyze.
The interview transcripts were divided into paragraphs during the second step which Bhattacherjee  called unitizing. During the third, coding step, we have constructed a coding scheme which contained the determinants of the IT outsourcing relationships from Table 2. As the forth step of the content analysis method of Denscombe , we have found the correspondent codes of the coding scheme in the interview transcripts. As a fifth step, we have counted how many times all these codes were mentioned in the interviews transcripts.
Finally, as the sixth step, we have analyzed the context where these codes were named and also the relationships between these codes. During the interviews each of the interviewees ranked the importance of each of the sixteen determinants of the IT outsourcing relationships by assigning each determinant a value between 1 and 5 where 1 corresponded to less important and 5 corresponded to the most important determinant Likert scale. The average ranking calculated for each determinant served as an input to rate the importance of the determinants.
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The results of the data analysis are presented in the next section. In accordance with the application of content analysis method and as a last step of the procedure of Denscombe , we have calculated the frequency of the occurrence of each IT outsourcing relationship determinant in the interview transcripts. The results are presented in Table 4. The frequency of using of each determinant varies from 19 times for the determinant Participation to 99 times for the determinant Trust with an average frequency of 58 times per determinant.
Further we will consider briefly each determinant. All the interviewees agreed that trust is a vital component of the successful outsourcing relationships. However, the level of trust varied during the outsourcing lifecycle from a high level during the contract signing stage of the relationships to a low level after the post-contract stage and decreasing afterwards due to the cooperation between parties and the performance results. Moreover, according to the interviewees, trust was established on the organizational level but lacked on particular individual's level.
Trust can be gained by having a clear action plan to eliminate difficulties in the outsourcing relationships. Even though the sides would turn things to their advantage, it is necessary to find a win-win balance in the outsourcing relationships. Communication quality. The interviewees mentioned that the quality of communication varied in different areas and depended on individuals involved in the outsourcing relationships.
They agreed that communication should not be overlooked and considered as important in the outsourcing relationships in order to work together efficiently. Knowledge and information sharing became more successful in this particular outsourcing relationships with the advance of a governance model which framed a structure for knowledge and information sharing on different levels of the outsourcing relationships. Moreover, it is required to be transparent towards each other and also not to hide any issues. Interviewees distinguished commitment on organizational and on individuals' levels where the latest one depends on particular individuals involved in the outsourcing relationships.
Overall, commitment is. Both companies cooperated well at this stage of their relationships which was necessary to solve arising issues and adjust to changing environment. Cultural compatibility. Generally the one side of the outsourcing relationships considered that the other side knew nothing about their partner's corporate culture. However, 4 out of 5 interviewees did not consider this as an obstacle in the outsourcing relationships. Conflict handling. Conflicts can be handled if both sides are willing to resolve the conflict. The governance structure enhances conflict resolution allowing to solve them on an appropriate organizational level whereas top management support makes it more efficient.
Shared values and objectives. The interviewees had different views and a lack of unanimity about shared values and objectives of the outsourcing relationships as well as about the importance of shared values and objectives in the outsourcing relationships. Shared benefits and risks. The opinions about the risks and benefits sharing diverged between interviewees even though they agreed that it was hard to balance risks and benefits both in a contract and in reality.
Flexibility and adaptation. The outsourcing provider was flexible and adaptable while this was applied to a smaller extent to the outsourcing recipient. All five interviewees considered that flexibility was not as important as adaptation.
The companies were satisfied with their relationships on the organizational level while the satisfaction of the end-user of the outsourcing recipient was growing. However, the importance of satisfaction varied in the options of the five interviewees between crucial to less important but balanced with its cost.
Business and mutual understanding. It is more important for the outsourcing provider to understand other party than vice versa especially when it comes to a business and organizational structure to provide a better service for the customer. Therefore, the outsourcing provider thought that it was more important to have business and mutual understanding compared to the outsourcing recipient.
Mutual dependency. The outsourcing recipient was more dependent on the outsourcing provider than vice versa. Both parties in the outsourcing relationships were content with the balance of their dependency on each other.
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Top management support. All the interviewees felt top management support from their outsourcing partner side but had different opinions about the top management support of their own company. Moreover, the interviewees on the strategical level put more weight on the top management support than interviewees from the operational level. None of the interviewees felt that the confidentiality of information was an issue in their outsourcing relationships however they could hardly recall how it was regulated by the contract.
However, outsourcing, in this case, borders a too low level, which limits its potential.