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Overcoming Cultural Challenges in Software Outsourcing: A study of difficulties and solutions to cultural challenges in the interface between parties involved in the outsourcing value chain
Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As software outsourcing becomes mainstream management strategy, different researchers have highlighted the cultural challenges and their consequences. This research paper analyses specific challenges and remedies related to culture mainly in regards to knowledge transfer but also, to a lesser extent, control mechanisms in software outsourcing. These become more of a challenge as companies outsource higher value activities and the complexity increases. I wanted to understand the challenges as well as study what successful practitioners actually do to mitigate the cultural challenges.

 

This research uses a mixed method approach including ethnography of South India (since most Indian IT industry is in the south and much research assumes a generic Indian national culture), quantitative analysis (to identify customers’ and vendors’ concerns and general approaches to remedies) and finally qualitative semi-structured interviews to discuss detailed experience and suggested remedies from qualified bridge persons found by the quantitative analysis.

 

The findings shows that cultural challenges indeed are among the main challenges though other challenges (such as unclear expectations, unclear requirements and poor communication skills) were also important. When digging down dealing with transfer of Tacit Knowledge[1] was considered being a major challenge. Within the cultural aspects Delays, Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance were considered being the major challenges.

 

The study shows not unexpectedly that using high context media for communication yields considerable better results than using low context media. There was also an agreement from the respondent’s side on usage of prototypes and of the importance of cultural training. Indian vendors also, unlike the customers, considered Wikis as a good remedy for cultural challenges.

 

The author has 15 years of experience as a founder and Managing Director of a software consulting company in India.

[1] Not really a cultural aspect but tacit knowledge in connection with cultural differences is a major challenge

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 63 p.
Keyword [en]
Offshore outsourcing, Cultural Challenges, India, Sweden, Knowledge transfer, Software development, Cross cultural awareness, Cultural interaction, Communication, Tacit Knowledge
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-9106ISRN: ORU-HHS/FEK-GK-2010/0042--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-9106DiVA: diva2:287106
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2010-07-06 Created: 2010-01-17 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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