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Utilizing expectation disconfirmation theory to develop a higher-order model of outsourcing success factors

Colleen Carraher-Wolverton (Department of Management, B I Moody III College of Business Administration, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
Rudy Hirschheim (Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 14 December 2022

Issue publication date: 29 March 2023




The authors’ contribution to the literature involves using expectation disconfirmation theory (EDT) to examine the impact of expectations on outsourcing success. This study hypothesizes that perceptions of outsourcing success are contingent on disconfirmation between clients’ expectations and the perceived performance of fundamental issues related to the outsourcing relationship.


To test the hypothesis, this study surveyed chief information officers, vice presidents and senior information systems managers to determine their perceptions of vendors. This study analyzed the data using structural equation modeling.


The findings demonstrate that the existing outsourcing success factors are more precisely depicted as multidimensional success factors that predict managerial perceptions of outsourcing success. This study uses a novel perspective to identify the multidimensional nature of the outsourcing success factors that might have remained latent without further analysis.


Using EDT, this study extends the understanding of outsourcing success as not merely composed of unidimensional factors but as a collection of multidimensional outsourcing success factors. This research demonstrates that not only do these success factors predict outsourcing success, but they can also be grouped together to provide a diversified, yet parsimonious view of how expectations relating to certain success factors influence a client’s perception of outsourcing success.



Funding: This paper has been funded by the Research Excellence Grant from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, College of Business.


Carraher-Wolverton, C. and Hirschheim, R. (2023), "Utilizing expectation disconfirmation theory to develop a higher-order model of outsourcing success factors", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 1-29.



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