Olsson et al. (2008) Two-Stage Offshoring: An Investigation of the Irish Bridge, MIS Quarterly, 32(2) pp. 257-279

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Another good example of a case study paper. Paper tries to theorize the irish companies working as bridges between US and the offshoring country India in software development. Relational exchange theory was used to guide data collection and analysis. Interviews (interview guide from previous research) and archival documents were used for data triangulation. Paper provides good examples of raw data and good discussion about the reliability and construct validity. The authors did not test propositions (which is typical for case studies) in this paper since they labelled it as a revelatory case study.

The relational exchange theory provided attributes:

  • trust
  • interdependence
  • consensus
  • cultural compatibility
  • flexibility

and processes:

  • communication
  • coordination
  • cooperation
  • conflict resolution
  • integration

Analysing through these attributes and processes led to 3 approaches to bridge model:

  • Team integration
  • Organizational level implementation
  • Site hierarchy

Posted by Venlakaisa

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One Response to Olsson et al. (2008) Two-Stage Offshoring: An Investigation of the Irish Bridge, MIS Quarterly, 32(2) pp. 257-279

  1. Petri says:

    I agree with Venlakaisa. The paper is a good case study report. It is readable yet rich in detail and has an excellent discussion about the research methods and reliability & validity of the research.

    I had some problems on following the cases though. In beginning the authors advertise the research as multiple case study and hint that there might have been multiple cases per company (they studied multiple projects in both of the companies), then they reveal that the research consists of two cases, and on the research design part mix the research activities of the cases together. Research findings and discussions handle the two studied companies as two cases.

    The data analysis and results part is good. I’m not sure how the case study nature of the research is actually visible here. The paper could have been just a good qualitative study report as well.

    Although, the paper does not include for example exact interview questions, it is detailed enough (the framework uses as basis for interview protocol is named) to probably be repeatable. This level of reliability is not very common.

    In addition of being a good case study about two-stage offshoring (if you don’t know what that means, read the paper=), the article is also a good example of revelatory case study and development of theoretical model.

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