The Four 'W's of Face-To-Face : Suggesting an Enriched Perspective on Nearshoring Relationship Management

Professorship/Faculty: Information Systems and Services  
Authors: Stetten, Alexander von ; Beimborn, Daniel  ; Weitzel, Tim  
Title of the compilation: SIGSIM-CPR '14: Proceedings of the 52nd ACM conference on Computers and people research
Corporate Body: 2014 ACM SIGMIS CPR Conference
Publisher Information: New York, NY, USA : ACM
Year of publication: 2014
Pages / Size: S. 177 - 190
ISBN: 978-1-4503-2625-4
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1145/2599990.2600015
Document Type: Conferenceobject
Outsourcing relationships usually benefit from face-to-face (F2F) meetings between client and vendor staff in various manners, for instance, by fostering trust, mutual understanding, and knowledge transfer. While being an expensive and often not frequently used measure in IT offshoring to far-distant countries, frequent F2F meetings are especially attractive in nearshore settings where geographic distance is small; thus establishing distinctive F2F patterns becomes an important criterion for managing a healthy nearshore outsourcing relationship. This paper proposes four 'W's that help both research and practitioners to think about F2F meetings in a structured way and to develop F2F strategies for achieving an effective outsourcing relationship. These 'W's represent different dimensions of F2F in terms of participants ('Who'), location ('Where'), time ('When'), and motives for meeting F2F ('Why'). We apply the four 'W's in a descriptive case analysis of three nearshore IS outsourcing arrangements between Western European clients and Eastern European vendors. This analysis provides evidence for the applicability and value of using the four 'W's, which will support future research on inter-firm collaboration regarding the identification of effective F2F patterns.
Keywords: Face-to-face meetings, nearshore outsourcing, Western European/Eastern European nearshore cluster, descriptive case studies
Release Date: 30. May 2014