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Differences between success factors of IS quasi-outsourcing and conventional outsourcing collaboration: a case study of two Finnish companies

Abstract

Conventional IS outsourcing does not always meet expectations, often because the company lacks control over the outsourced activity. Quasi-outsourcing collaboration, where the company transfers its IS personnel to a subsidiary, allows the company to maintain more control over the relationship than in conventional outsourcing. In this qualitative case study of two Finnish companies, differences between success factors of IS quasi-outsourcing and conventional outsourcing are identified and discussed. The study has practical and theoretical implications. We identified 1) success factors of conventional outsourcing that are already fulfilled (e.g. trust) or less challenging (e.g. physical information technology infrastructure) in quasi-outsourcing, 2) success factors that are more challenging in quasi-outsourcing than in conventional outsourcing (e.g. structured interaction processes), and 3) success factors that proved important in both types of outsourcing but showed qualitative differences (e.g. mutual dependency). Our findings can help companies make a more informed choice between these two types of outsourcing.

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Acknowledgement

The first author would like to thank the Oulu University Scholarship Foundation, the Tauno Tönning Foundation, the Jenni and Antti Wihuri Foundation, and the ROOSTER - Smart Phone Innovation Cluster project for financial support during the research. Both authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editors for their valuable comments.

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Correspondence to Karin Väyrynen.

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Responsible editor: Nicholas C. Romano

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Väyrynen, K., Kinnula, M. Differences between success factors of IS quasi-outsourcing and conventional outsourcing collaboration: a case study of two Finnish companies. Electron Markets 22, 49–61 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-011-0079-6

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Keywords

  • Information systems
  • Outsourcing types
  • Qualitative research
  • Quasi-outsourcing

JEL classification

  • L24