Knowledge transfer and organizational learning in IS offshore sourcing

Published on Apr 1, 2008in Omega-international Journal of Management Science5.34
· DOI :10.1016/
Ai Ling Chua1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NUS: National University of Singapore),
Shan Ling Pan35
Estimated H-index: 35
(NUS: National University of Singapore)
Offshore sourcing is the trend where companies look for cheaper offshore resource options to reduce their baseline costs. This involves the retrenchment of more expensive onshore resources to be replaced with cheaper offshore resources. A key activity is the transfer of knowledge from the onshore resources to the offshore resources. This paper is written from an organizational learning perspective, looking at how a global IS department in a multinational bank went about transferring its business application support and development experiences to another insourced location. Specifically, we examine how knowledge is transferred for the five IS body of knowledge (BOK) areas, namely, technology, application domain, IS application, organizational and IS development process knowledge. We find that whilst some areas of the IS BOK are easily grafted, some require intense vicarious and experiential learning using rich media, whilst others are more difficult to transfer. The findings extend the literature on knowledge transfer and organizational learning in the context of the IS BOK.
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