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International outsourcing of information technology services: review and future directions

Doren Chadee (School of Management and Marketing, The University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)
Revti Raman (Department of Management and International Business, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 17 July 2009



The purpose of this paper is to review the development of the empirical literature on international outsourcing of information technology services (ITS) over the 1992‐2007 period and to identify future research areas.


A sample of 78 empirical academic publications on international outsourcing of ITS conducted between 1992 and 2007 across 46 scholarly journals constitutes the main data for analytical purposes. The sample is compiled following extensive electronic searches of the main academic databases. After clustering the studies in the sample according to their main research areas, a narrative approach is used to review developments in each cluster and to identify emerging research areas.


Four main areas of research are identified, namely outsourcing decision, outsourcing management (OSM), outsourcing outcome and the role of offshore service providers (OSPs). The review suggests that research efforts to date have been predominantly on outsourcing decision and OSM, mostly from the perspective of clients. Future research opportunities exist in the areas of outsourcing strategy and performance, the behaviour and performance of OSPs particularly within the context of firms from less‐developed countries competing globally, and the nature of competition among OSPs both within and among countries.


This is the first review which focuses on empirical studies of outsourcing for ITS. This paper identifies several gaps in the literature and points to the need for more research on outsourcing from the perspective of OSPs.



Chadee, D. and Raman, R. (2009), "International outsourcing of information technology services: review and future directions", International Marketing Review, Vol. 26 No. 4/5, pp. 411-438.



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