Nearshoring Management

Outsourcing engagements between IT vendors from Eastern Europe and their Western European clients account for large parts of the European outsourcing market. These “nearshoring” scenarios often differ from arrangements with “traditional” offshoring providers from, for example, India. However, research on particular success factors for effectively managing these nearshoring relationships is sparse, although being highly important for both vendor and client side success.

In order to close this research gap, our department has set up a research project in 2012. The aim of this project is to investigate which specific challenges – such as communication, knowledge transfer, cultural differences, or geographic distance – exist in nearshore relationships and how they can be successfully mitigated by taking appropriate management actions.

In the first phase of the project, we conduct a series of case studies among Eastern European IT service providers and their Western European clients. The case studies focus on various outsourcing arrangements (from infrastructure support to software development). Individual outsourcing projects are analyzed using several interviews on both sides (vendor and client) to gain a comprehensive picture of the relationship. Participating companies are provided with a complementary benchmark allowing for an individual comparative analysis.

Project schedule (phase 1):

  1. Creation of the dataset: 04/2012
  2. Contacting prospective partner firms & scheduling the interviews: 04/2012 – 06/2012
  3. Data collection (conduction of the interviews): 07/2012 – 04/2013
  4. Data analysis: 04-08/2013
  5. Preparation of the final research report: 08-12/2013

In project phase 2, we will conduct a questionnaire-based survey among Eastern European IT service providers and their Western European clients. This survey will particularly be based on the results of the previous case study series (project phase 1).

A list of our outsourcing-related publications can be found here.

An overview of our department’s further research activities in the area of outsourcing can be found here.