Inderscience Publishers

IT outsourcing partnerships and cultural differences: an analysis of European–Asian projects

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This study examines the influence of cultural values on the partnership performance of outsourced projects. A survey of information technology outsourced projects of five countries in Europe on the client side and four countries in Asia on the vendor side, indicates that the cultural values of the vendors and the clients influence the partnership performance of the projects differently. The results of multiple regression analyses are mostly consistent with a priori hypotheses regarding cross–cultural differences in meeting the expectations of the working relationship. The study reveals that higher individualism, lower uncertainty avoidance, lower masculinity, lower power distance and short–term orientation from client side were found to support the partnership performance of the outsourced projects. From the vendor side, lower individualism, lower uncertainty avoidance, higher masculinity, higher power distance and short–term orientation were found to support the partnership performance of the outsourced projects. The results of this study further corroborate that cultural values significantly affect the partnership performance of IT outsourcing activities, and that the established cultural identities in the client–vendor relationship matter a great deal.

Keywords: outsourcing projects, cultural values, partnership performance, culture, information technology, IT outsourcing, cultural differences, Europe, Asia, client–vendor relationships, buyer–supplier relationships

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