Trust and Coordination in Offshore Outsourcing: An Account of Intercultural Collaboration in a Danish and Indian IT Context
This paper reports from an empirical study of one of the largest IT and BPO offshore outsourcing endeavors embarked upon by a Danish company. Based on observations of structured, video-mediated handover meetings and follow-up interviews with the involved stakeholders, it presents an account of how the implementation of handover meetings affected Danish employees´ perception of their Indian counterparts in terms of work attitude, competence and reliability – and ultimately how these handover meetings increased the Danish employees´ willingness and ability to trust their Indian counterparts. Contemporary research on trust in virtual teams is used to provide a theoretical framing of the empirical findings. The paper furthermore draws on Sabherwal’s (2003) categorizations of coordination as being either biased towards organic mutual adjustments or towards a priori structures. Through this perspective the findings suggest that formal coordination can be seen as a catalyst for building trust in virtual teams.
KeywordsOutsourcing Offshoring Cross-Cultural Management Trust Virtual Teams Coordination Intercultural Collaboration
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