Information Systems Sourcing: A Multi-theoretic Analysis
H. Raghav Rao Principal Investigator
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Information systems (IS) sourcing is an intricate phenomenon involving a multitude of actors, tasks, technology elements, service levels, reporting relationships, etc., in an environment of information asymmetry, incomplete contracts, and goal incongruency. This research develops a multi-theoretic contingency model of IS sourcing for effective governance of a firm's IS infrastructure in such a complex environment. The preliminary contingency model is based on economic and organizational theories of agency, transaction costs, incomplete contracts, resource dependence, etc. Qualitative secondary data and a focus group are initially used to refine the preliminary contingency model. The refined model is then empirically validated in the context of a specific industry using a two-shot longitudinal survey and quantitative content analysis of industry-specific secondary data. Results of this research will provide IS managers with a framework for designing appropriate sourcing configurations to achieve firm-specific sourcing objectives under different environmental conditions. They will also help create a better understanding about the dynamics of persistence of sourcing relationships. The results will, in addition, impact research concerned with the larger issue of IS performance management in the context of the virtual organizational form created and enabled through<br/>sourcing relationships.