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Title: Proximity-based models of offshore software outsourcing : exploring the concept of location in nearshore and onshore software outsourcing
Author: Abbott, P. Y.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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The literature on offshore outsourcing (OSO) has focused mainly on countries with large software export markets, such as India, while neglecting other developing countries which apparently lack the resources thought necessary to succeed in software development. Globalisation is seen to offer an opportunity for the development of IT industries in these neglected contexts, however, mainly due to the prevalence of information and communication networks. With the ongoing debate on globalisation and its contested effects, though, it would seem important and timely to study OSO within such under-researched contexts. This thesis thus focuses on proximity-based models of offshore outsourcing, such as nearshore and onshore outsourcing, which represent arrangements that seek to exploit geographical closeness to the client. In promoting locational competitive advantage, they seek differentiation from traditional offshore models in temporal, spatial and cultural terms. As a means of examining these claims, this thesis will explore the themes of time, space, culture and distance in OSO. An exploratory approach was employed incorporating both survey and case study methodologies. Three groups of offshore software industry stakeholders were surveyed to provide a broad-based background to the study, while three specific cases of proximity outsourcing were investigated using interpretive methods. A grounded approach to theory was adopted using the concepts of time, space culture and distance as a guideline for analysis. The survey findings confirm an awareness by stakeholders of the significance of proximity, location and the persistence of cultural differences in OSO. The case results broadly reflect but also pose challenges to globalisation theories, such as increased economic and social integration, powerlessness of the state, economic development and the apparent irrelevance of space and time made possible by advances in IT. The thesis thus makes its contribution in both extending the debate on globalisation with respect of OSO in new contexts and adding to the under-researched area of spatio-temporal research in the IS field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available