Understanding informations systems outsourcing success and risks through the lens of cognitive biases

Rouse, Anne and Corbitt, Brian J. 2007, Understanding informations systems outsourcing success and risks through the lens of cognitive biases, in ECIS2007 Conference Proceedings, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, pp. 1167-1178.

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Title Understanding informations systems outsourcing success and risks through the lens of cognitive biases
Author(s) Rouse, Anne
Corbitt, Brian J.
Conference name European Conference on Information Systems (15th : 2007 : St Gallen, Switzerland)
Conference location St Gallen, Switzerland
Conference dates 7-9 June 2007
Title of proceedings ECIS2007 Conference Proceedings
Editor(s) Winter, Robert
Osterie, Hubert
Publication date 2007
Conference series European Conference on Information Systems
Start page 1167
End page 1178
Publisher University of St. Gallen
Place of publication St. Gallen, Switzerland
Keyword(s) sourcing, decision making
evidence-based management
focus groups
meta-analysis
Summary Because outsourcing of information systems (IS) is now widespread, it is generally assumed to be successful. It is also often assumed that outsourcing risks are easily managed. In this paper we adopt an “evidence based management” approach to first test these assumptions through a qualitative metaanalysis of academic studies into IS outsourcing outcomes. Our research reveals a shortage of reliable and valid evidence for outsourcing’s benefits, and for the level of risk involved. We then use data from a series of focus groups to explain the paradox of widespread adoption of a strategy with limited empirical support. These focus groups were interpreted through the lens of research on a
range of cognitive mechanisms and biases that are known to affect decision makers. We conclude that cognitive mechanisms that are likely to affect sourcing decisions include framing biases, cognitive dissonance, attribution error, and the “optimism”, “confirmation”, “disconfirmation” and “overconfidence” biases. Given the shortage of supporting evidence, and the potential for these biases to operate, we argue that researchers need to be more critical in their analysis of reports of the success and risks of IS outsourcing.
Language eng
Field of Research 150302 Business Information Systems
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008200

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Deakin Graduate School of Business
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