Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Information Systems and Decision Sciences (Business Administration)

Document Type



The objective of this study is to improve our understanding of IT Outsourcing Governance, which has become an increasingly significant topic in recent years. In order to gain an understanding of this topic, an extensive literature review was performed and analyzed with argument mapping. The data yielded from the argument maps was used to create a comprehensive framework for IT Outsourcing Governance. What resulted was a new conceptualization of IT Outsourcing Governance, focused not only on governance structures and decision rights, but also on relationship management. This conceptualization not only provides a better understanding, but also presents a sharp contrast to the traditional view of IT Governance in which relationship management is not a major factor. In addition to the argument maps, a social representations survey was performed in order to elicit differences in the conceptualization of IT Outsourcing Governance between academics and practitioners. The results of the survey were used to perform a core/periphery analysis, which identified core and peripheral concepts used by academics and practitioners when discussing IT Outsourcing Governance. The core topics identified show a high degree of overlap with the dimensions of the framework previously developed. Finally, a review of existing technologies developed specifically to manage outsourcing arrangements (Outsourcing Relationship Management Tools) was performed in order to better understand the alignment between technology and management practices. This analysis showed that the features of Outsourcing Relationship Management tools seem to be misaligned with the duties and responsibilities of people in charge of the day-to-day management of the client-vendor relationship. The contribution of this research lies in advancing our understanding of IT Outsourcing Governance by providing a framework and new definition for this concept, along with a new theoretical lens to understand the evolution of relationships into partnerships. Additionally, this study augments the tools available to researchers by introducing argument mapping, a seldom-used technique for discourse analysis that proved to be very effective for eliciting relevant dimensions related to IT Outsourcing Governance from a literature review.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Hirschheim, Rudolph



Included in

Business Commons