An analysis of the process of information systems development across time and space : the case of outsourcing to India
The processes of globalisation have led to a world which is more closely connected and interdependent than ever before. The use of information technology has been instrumental in facilitating these interconnections and as the processes of globalisation have unfolded, whole industries have developed which are not dependent upon location to trade with their customers across the globe. There is no industry more seemingly suited to the notion of time and place independence than software development and the relative labour costs have meant that some developing countries have become popular locations for the outsourcing of information systems development. There is no country more involved in the outsourcing of software than India which has rapidly emerged as a world leader in the provision of outsourced software development. There have been few studies which have holistically and longitudinally examined this form of software development as a process. This thesis is the result of such a study. The aim of this research is to investigate the process of information systems development across time and space involving teams located in different countries. The research is undertaken with an interpretivist approach and methodology derived from Context Process analysis. The analysis of data is informed by the sociologist Anthony Giddens's later writings on globalisation as well as theory derived from the study of culture and power in organisations. The data collection was undertaken using a range of qualitative techniques. The outcomes of the research include an improved understanding of the implications for information systems development involving teams located in different countries collaborating with information technology across time and space, with relevance to the context of Indian outsourcing. Theoretical outcomes include an improved understanding of the methodological, social and political dimensions of information systems development using teams separated by time and space. The implications for management include an exposition of the issues involved in undertaking projects where teams are separated by time and space and guidance for moves to global software outsourcing.