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Offshoring attitudes, relational behaviours, and departmental culture

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conference contribution
posted on 31.05.2012, 14:20 by Angelika ZimmermannAngelika Zimmermann
The success of IT offshoring depends to some extent on the working relationships between onshore and offshore colleagues. However, as part of an organisational department's culture, employees can hold different attitudes towards offshoring and towards their own offshore collaboration. Previous research suggests that such 'offshoring attitudes' can influence subgroup divides and thereby affect employees' motivation to build and maintain effective working relationships. Through a qualitative field study, this paper demonstrates how offshoring attitudes affected the relational behaviours of German IT developers towards their Indian offshore colleagues. Two prototypical, contrasting departmental cultures are identified with regard to German members' offshoring attitudes and associated relational behaviours. In particular, offshoring attitudes had an impact on Germans treating their Indian colleagues as team members versus suppliers, their intercultural communication, knowledge transfer, task transfer, and pinpointing of mistakes. The findings are interpreted with regard to Martin and Siehl's (1983) notion of 'enhancing' and 'countercultural' organisational subcultures. Implications for theory, practitioners and future research are outlined.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business


ZIMMERMANN, A., 2011. Offshoring attitudes, relational behaviours, and departmental culture. IN: Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Helsinki, Finland. Paper 69.


European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) and Association for Information Systems AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This conference paper was accepted for publication in the ECIS 2011 Proceedings and the definitive version is available at: