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Transplants' role stress and work outcome in IT outsourcing relationships

Hans Solli‐Sæther (Department of Leadership and Organizational Management, Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 15 March 2011




The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how individuals are affected by an outsourcing arrangement. The aim of this exploratory case study was to develop an understanding of individual level role stress and work outcomes among transferred employees in IT outsourcing relationships.


A research model was developed based on role theory. Through a field survey conducted in one outsourcing vendor, the research confirms the hypothesis that proposes role stress as prevalent among transferred information technology (IT) employees.


Perceived role stress was found to influence behavioural work outcomes measured as task performance, turnover intention, and affective commitment. The effect of role stress on work outcomes indicates that carefully crafted outsourcing strategies must take into account the unique position of transferred IT employees since the outsourcing arrangement may affect their work outcome.


The original value of the paper is the use of role theory to extend the scientific research and theory of outsourcing and inform managers of outsourcing decisions. The study is applied at the individual level, which is new in the sense that most outsourcing studies are applied at the organisational level.



Solli‐Sæther, H. (2011), "Transplants' role stress and work outcome in IT outsourcing relationships", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 No. 2, pp. 227-245.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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