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Sustaining competitiveness through information technology outsourcing: Evidence from an emerging nation

M. Sadiq Sohail (Department of Management & Marketing, College of Industrial Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




With competitive pressures increasing, outsourcing has become a common phenomenon in today's global economy. While there is growing evidence of organizations increasingly seeking to outsource their information technology (IT) functions, there have been few comprehensive studies on this subject from the Middle East region. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the usage of IT outsourcing in Saudi Arabia.


Empirical research is used to study the extent that firms use the services of IT companies, the time period these have been used, the decision‐making process for outsourcing IT function, and its impact on the organization.


Results based on the analysis of data relating to 178 firms in Saudi Arabia indicate that most of these users are satisfied with the service providers and have largely seen positive developments within the organization.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this paper relate to the relatively small size of the sample. This somewhat limits generalization of findings to the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Practical implications

Findings have several practical implications for small startup companies and even larger companies that are deciding to outsource IT function in the Arabian Gulf region. The results provide managers with evidence supporting the benefits of IT outsourcing.


This paper makes a valuable contribution given the fact that there are only a limited number of comprehensive studies dealing with the assessment of IT outsourcing functions.



Sadiq Sohail, M. (2011), "Sustaining competitiveness through information technology outsourcing: Evidence from an emerging nation", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 369-381.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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