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Séminaires ISI

How and Why Software Outsourcing Projects Drift Away—An Actor-Netowrk-Theoretic Investigation

Prof. Jens Dibbern (Institute of Information Systems, University of Bern)

17 octobre 2017  -  12:15-13:15, salle Internef 237

 

This study addresses the managerial challenge of drift in software outsourcing, i.e., many software outsourcing projects enter into a creeping process of deviating from their planned purpose for a variety of reasons often outside anyone’s influence. The fact that outsourced projects take a life of their own, and drift, is difficult to reconcile with the traditional logic of control in prior research. According to this logic well-defined contracts that clearly define project goals and behaviors should enable client and vendor to control goal achievement and thereby prevent drift. To advance understanding of how drift occurs in the face of contractually defined controls, we confront the logic of control with concepts and assumptions from Actor Network Theory (ANT). ANT allows us to view outsourcing as a revolving process of negotiations between human actors that translates into interrelated changes of non-human actors, such as the contract, the software artifact, and the software task. Based on our analysis of four software outsourcing projects over time, we show that it depends on who participates in the negotiations and how the translation of interests is carried out whether drift occurs or is prevented. Specifically, we find that narrow negotiation networks tend to translate into a process of destandardization through specific controls that by way of rule-based legalization and rule-based exemption stipulate closely coupled changes in the software artifact and the software task, thereby enforcing drift. Contrary, broad negotiation networks tend to translate into a process of standardization through specific controls that decouple changes in the software artifact from changes in the software task via rule- and design-based configuration, thereby preventing drift.  

 

Bio

Jens Dibbern is a Professor and Co-Director of the Institute of Information Systems at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He received his Ph.D. in information systems from the University of Bayreuth and was assistant professor at the University of Mannheim, Germany. His research focuses on various aspects of the division of work in information systems provision and through information systems, such as outsourcing, offshoring, platform ecosystems, enterprise systems use, and IT-supported collaboration. His publication appeared or appear in Information Systems Research (ISR), Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ), Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), Journal of the Association of Information Systems (JAIS), and others. He has been associate editor of MISQ and currently serves as senior editor of JAIS and MISQ Executive; he is also department editor of Business & Information Systems Engineering.

 

Liste des prochaines séances

17 octobre 2017 How and Why Software Outsourcing Projects Drift Away—An Actor-Netowrk-Theoretic Investigation
Prof. Jens Dibbern (Institute of Information Systems, University of Bern)
12:15-13:15, salle Internef 237

click here [↓] to go to the attached pdf

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5 décembre 2017 Measuring Online Behavioural Advertising, the tale of the Data Transparency Lab, and other adventures in Data Protection
Nikolaos Laoutaris (Data Transparency Lab)
Host(s): DeSI
12:15-13:15, salle Internef 237

click here [↓] to go to the attached pdf

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