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Über dieses Buch

This book explains and illustrates how uncertainty and trust interact with each other, and how an understanding of this interaction is critical to success in IT outsourcing. A partnership approach that is built on trust can determine success but this book explains in which particular outsourcing context this approach is likely to pay dividends.




Outsourcing in general and IT outsourcing in particular have grown exponentially over the recent years. The academic literature on the topic has also burgeoned, exploring and investigating the phenomenon from different theoretical perspectives such as transaction cost economics, organizational knowledge, competitive business strategies, and value chain and so on. In conjunction with the academic literature, there has also been growth in the practitioner literature around outsourcing. But there is an absence of overlap between the two streams of literature. The practitioner-oriented literature by and large ignores academic theories while its scholarly counterpart focuses mainly on theoretical constructs that explains the ‘make or buy’ decision but provides little in terms of heuristics that practitioners can use in real business situations.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta

1. IT Outsourcing

The aim in this section is to provide an introduction to IT outsourcing and set the context for the issues of uncertainties, trust and partnerships, all of which are examined in detail in the subsequent chapters.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta

2. Uncertainties in Outsourcing

The aim of this chapter is to identify and understand the various forms of uncertainties that surround the outsourcing decision and the outsourcing process.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta

3. Trust and Partnerships in Outsourcing

The aim in this section is to identify and understand various forms of trust and partnerships and explain how they are related and why trust can be conceptualized as partnerships.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta

4. Developing Uncertainty and Trust Constructs

The purpose of this chapter is to develop a construct for uncertainty and trust. A three-step process is used to develop this construct. Initial constructs for uncertainty and trust are developed during the first two steps. These constructs are merged and reconciled in the third step to develop the final construct in which the relationship between trust and uncertainty is analyzed and reconciled.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta

5. Findings and Discussion on Case Studies

The main purpose of the case studies is to examine how trust and uncertainty are related and how they can be understood with the constructs developed in Chapter 4. Our concern is not with ‘validation’ of the frameworks but rather with the task of demonstrating how these theoretical constructs work in practice. A secondary objective is to develop an idea of how trust can be engendered over time between service providers and service receivers in outsourcing relationships that may have high uncertainty associated with them at least in the initial stages.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta


This book advocates a partnership approach to outsourcing. But this statement needs to be qualified. Developing a partnership approach is a difficult process and not without risks. It has been suggested in this book that a partnership approach is most productive in outsourcing relationships that are characterized with a high level of uncertainty. This suggestion may sound paradoxical at the first instance. Firms tend to avoid uncertainty in outsourcing. When it is difficult to predict accurately what the future cost savings and gains in competitiveness are likely to be, firms typically prefer to ‘make’ instead of ‘buy’. While this is a rational strategy, the book points to an alternate approach which is equally valid; one that is predicated on trust and hence on a partnership approach.

Neil Oschlag-Michael, Surja Datta


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