Action readiness and mindset for IT offshoring
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CitationAydin, M. N., de Groot, J., & van Hillegersberg, J. (2010). Action readiness and mindset for IT offshoring. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 23(3), 326-349. doi:10.1108/17410391011036094
Purpose: The paper aims to examine the degree of changes in action readiness and mindset for the IT offshore outsourcing (offshoring) practice of a number of leading finance and insurance organisations. In particular, the article investigates the action readiness (the state, condition or quality of being ready) and mindset (habits, opinions or perceptions which affect a person's attitudes) of organisations for IT offshoring. Design/methodology/approach: The research method applied has explorative research characteristics and consisted of two phases. The first phase included conducting interviews with project managers of 12 organisations in home and offshore countries and the second phase was concerned with an in-depth analysis of projects in three organisations. By adopting a process research approach, the research takes into account the dynamics of IT offshoring projects in terms of five essential aspects, i.e. the way of working culture, method use, IT activities, IT governance, and knowledge sharing. Findings: The findings indicate that to a greater extent organisations have realised readiness for method use and the mindset for IT activities, and that the overall improvements regarding these aspects have been modest in the last two years. On the other hand, the mindset for dealing with cultural difference has increased while readiness for flexible working, tracking of requirements change, efficient division of work, and systematic communication is still inadequate. Research limitations/implications: As the findings are concerned with a small sample and particular industries, they are limited in nature. More research is needed to update the findings in other industries with a larger sample. This would help in achieving stronger external validity. Practical implications: The model used in this research can help organisations in identifying how well they are prepared for or have improved IT offshoring practice in terms of five essential aspects. Based on the degree of readiness and mindset at hand, they can make use of the findings related to particular aspects. In this respect, the findings may provide valuable insights for practitioners. Originality/value: Most IT offshoring studies employ a variance research strategy, by which cause-effect relationships among dependent, independent, and mediating factors essential to the subject matter are studied. As an alternative to this strategy, this research adopts a process research approach, which is concerned with the dynamics of IT offshoring practice, which takes into account the emergent and on-the-fly nature of IT projects. Such dynamics are examined in terms of two conceptual levels, i.e. action readiness (ability, condition of being readiness) and mindset (opinions, perceptions). These levels, which are often employed as a separate focus in existing studies, are found to be useful in closing the gap between action readiness and mindset for IT offshoring.