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Title: A systemic governance framework for information technology outsourcing
Author: Slingsby, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 6690
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2008
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The IT outsourcing market has experienced staggering growth over recent years; however, evidence suggests that this IT outsourcing movement has been problematic. (Gartner (2002) estimated that 80% of IT Outsourcing deals failed to deliver their original anticipated business objectives). This thesis examines organisational outsourcing trends within a wider organisational context, for example the positioning of outsourcing within the 'flexibility offensive' (Atkinson and Gregory (1986)). The focus then shifts to IT outsourcing and specifically how the IT outsourcing environment is governed. This research programme utilises action research as the research method. This involves the adoption of the '4 moments of action research' (Carr and Kemmis (1986)) namely 'planning' 'acting', 'observation' and 'reflection'. Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), initially developed by Checkland in 1969, is adopted as the theoretical framework. This framework enables the development, implementation and subsequent reflection on 'A Systemic Governance Framework for IT Outsourcing'When this research programme was initiated, Royal Mail was at the early stages of considering an IT outsourcing route. Royal Mail subsequently entered into a £1.5Billion (over a ten-year period) outsourcing deal in June 2003. Within my role as Royal Mail Head of Governance I had a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between theoretical/academic and practitioner perspectives and to provide a unique and original application or practical intervention within the Royal Mail IT outsourcing environment. This intervention has the objective of utilising an original IT Governance Framework, which is designed and applied as part of this research programme, as a practical toolkit within the Royal Mail IT outsourced environment. From a theoretical perspective, the use of SSM and systems thinking in developing a systemic governance framework for IT outsourcing represents an original approach which offers new insights into this area of research. This thesis should be of significant interest to both academic and practitioner communities within the IT outsourcing and specifically IT governance fields. This research programme sheds new light on the conundrum of why IT outsourcing is expanding despite the apparently poor levels of benefits realisation. Further, the systemic IT Governance Framework, which is developed and implemented, emerges as a new and leading edge model of control which is capable of operating effectively within the Royal Mail highly complex and commercial IT outsourced environment.
Supervisor: Bryant, James ; Kawalek, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available