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Title: Understanding knowledge re-integration in information systems backsourcing
Author: Ejodame, Kayode
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 9564
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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This exploratory study has unearthed certain aspects in the information systems sourcing research that many organizations have been grappling with in recent years. The implication of this study on understanding knowledge re-integration in information systems backsourcing rests in the potential for theory development about the role of knowledge re-integration in rebuilding dismembered organizational capabilities. The literature on information systems outsourcing provided the motivation for this study in three ways: First, there is a dearth of empirical research on information systems backsourcing with a dominant view of backsourcing as being a simple case of outsourcing in reverse (Butler et al., 2011). Secondly, the IS Outsourcing literature has repeatedly suggested that the ability to share knowledge effectively between the client firm and suppliers is one of the determinants for successful sourcing arrangements (Lee et al. 2001; Chang & Gurbaxani, 2012). However, inter-organizational knowledge transfer comes with some challenges. In particular, studies have highlighted the negative effect that significant knowledge asymmetry between the sender and the recipient may have of the success of knowledge transfer (Lin et al., 2005, Cullen & Willcocks, 2003). Finally, a recent study, which is based on a case study methodology, indicates that client firms have in fact achieved success in backsourcing (Bhagwatwar et al., 2011); however, it is still not clear what factors affect successful backsourcing in light of the knowledge asymmetry challenge. The multi-faceted nature of this research calls for a multi-method approach to this study. Hence, this study is divided into two sections. In the first section this study adopts an interpretivist method to carefully examine the nature of multiple backsourcing projects. In the second section, this study develops and tests a conceptual model by obtaining data from a cross-industry survey of 120 British client firms recently involved in backsourcing. This study offers four main contributions to the IS outsourcing literature First, this study provides new insights into the nature and complexity of backsourcing which helps us move away from the single-dimensional view of backsourcing as a simple case of outsourcing in revers to offer four scenarios of backsourcing. Second, we reveal that knowledge transfer and re-integration in backsourcing may transpire as a coordinative activity, complementing knowledge transfer mechanisms reported in the IS outsourcing literature. Third, we substantiate our assumption that client firms suffer from knowledge asymmetry vis-à-vis their suppliers thus jeopardizing backsourcing success. Finally, we assert that backsourcing success equally depends on the supplier's desorptive capacity, thus highlighting the significant role supplier's play in backsourcing projects which is exhibits itself in knowledge transformation. This thesis has been divided into two sections. The first section contains four chapters. It begins with the literature review and sets the scene for the research outcomes formed by the pilot study. The results of the pilot study have been peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Information Technology. The second section contains five chapters, which begins with the conceptualization of the backsourcing phenomenon in terms of backsourcing success and then moves further to conduct an in-depth empirical analysis, results and discussions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: UKRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business and Management not elsewhere classified ; Backsourcing ; Outsourcing ; Knowledge ; Coordination ; Knowledge re-integration