|This research investigates individual level effects of information technology (IT) outsourcing.
The basis of this research rests on several organization and management theories typically applied to outsourcing separately. Some theories were focused primarily on cost concerns, and resources concerns, while others had partnership concerns. Stakeholder theory recognizes the importance of balancing interests of all stakeholder groups. Agency theory recognizes that principal-agent relationships change as a consequence of outsourcing. And economic theories are addressing performance, but not directly individual level work outcome. These complementary perspectives are integrated into a framework, which subsequently was applied in empirical research.
A combination of qualitative and quantitative research was used to explore and test the findings. The exploratory case studies involved six large organizations and in-depth interviews with a selected number of client and vendor stakeholders. Combined they revealed important features influencing and creating successful IT outsourcing relationships, and more specifically explored individual level attitudes, behavior and performance. The case studies recognized occupational stress among transplants, outsourcing arrangement stressors, and indicated consequences of occupational stress.
The confirmatory survey involved transplants of IT outsourcing. The survey found role stress as prevalent among transplants of IT outsourcing. In turn, perceived role stress was found to influence transplants’ work outcome. Three outsourcing arrangement stress (complementary core competencies, client managerial persistent expectation, and relational norms) were found as stressors affecting the level of perceived role stress among transplants.
The main contribution of this research is the development and application of a multiparadigmatic based research framework providing a more comprehensive understanding of transplants’ role stress and work outcome. Used as an analytic tool this framework will help managers in dealing with issues of role stress among transplants of IT outsourcing.