GRA6821 Sixth lecture: Outsourcing and offshoring

(October 9, 2009, 0800-1045, C2-040)

Outsourcing becomes a more and more common way of providing administrative services, such as IT, HR, accounting and customer services (call centers). In this discussion, we will take a look at outsourcing as a phenomenon and try to understand some of the challenges and possibilities it offers, both for the company outsourcing the work and for the company taking it on.

Please study and be prepared to discuss:

  • Case: Hostile IS outsourcing: The story of ManuFact (We will start by discussing this case.)
  • DiRomualdo, A. and V. Gurbaxani (1998). "Strategic Intent for IT Outsourcing." Sloan Management Review 39(4): 67-80 (Blackboard)
  • Dignan, L. (2003). "Leaping, then looking." Baseline (September): 17-29.  Short discussion of the economic and competitive implications of "offshoring" and the gradual emergence of a global job market for technology worker. (Blackboard)
  • This great article from Wired (written by the indomitable Dan Pink) on various sides of outsourcing to India.
  • Andersen, E. (2002). "Stamp Out Technology Virginity!" ACM Ubiquity 3(30).

Study questions

  • If you are going to pick just one person (or entity), who is responsible for the Manufact situation?
  • Should John take Jim’s offer, and if so, on what terms?
  • Why do organizations outsource? How has their intent changed over time? How does this change the outsourcing industry?

Guest lecture

Carl Christian Malm, Responsible for applications outsourcing at Accenture Norway, will give a presentation on Accenture’s work in outsourcing, focusing on the day-to-day details – how do you recognize customer demand, shape the contract, do the work, handle problems, and so on.