Does external knowledge enhance competitive advantage? A research agenda on it outsourcing practices
Faculty of Applied Economics
Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology
, p. 57-61
University of Antwerp
Since last two decades offshore outsourcing gaining fast momentum and now this new evolution of business process has achieved its maturity. Standardization of manufacturing sector is almost matured and now this sector is on the automation mode. Western firms in the service sector are very much eager to standardize their process and for multiple reasons, they are seeking external partner to achieve their goal. Modularity is the basic principle of standardization because standardization can not deliver any value if it is not flexible and agile. Modular, flexible and agile standardized systems can lead us towards the next stage of business process evolution which is, automation. Automation in service sector is envisaged since long but now it seems a reality due to the rapid advances in information technology. It seems very encouraging that the western firms are heading towards right direction in achieving competitiveness but question remains, if this achieved competency is sustainable? Is the achieved cost saving in short term, in any way over shadowing the long term and sustainable benefits? How well these western firms are prepared to face the turbulent business environment with out external help? This research will try to explore all the relevant venues to find the real situation on the ground. This study is aimed to focus on the knowledge transfer process between Indian service providers and western service consumers. In short and mid-term, probably companies in western countries are achieving competitive advantage by off-shoring their IS / IT activities but this research will focus on long-term strategies. Will the service consumers continue to depend on service providers or will they adopt strategies to enhance their own capabilities through knowledge exchange? This research will try to uncover the shortterm, mid-term and long-term strategies concerning IS off-shoring practices, adopted by the service consumer organizations in western countries. This research will further dig-in to evaluate consistency of those adopted strategies to economic theories. This research will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will be an exploratory and qualitative research. Data will be collected through the interviews of executives from both organizations: service consumer and service provider. The second phase will be a confirmatory and quantitative research. Data will be collected from the executives of service consumer and service provider through survey. This collected data will be matched by the previous qualitative data and finally after analyzing those data a conclusion can be derived.