از مرزگستری تا فرایند زبانی: مطالعه نرم افزار چینی و فروشندگان برون سپاری خدمات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21618||2013||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12486 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Volume 22, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 121–136
In achieving success in global sourcing arrangements, the role of a cultural liaison, boundary spanner or transnational intermediary is frequently highlighted as being critical. This paper critiques, builds upon and synthesizes relevant streams of ideas in relation to boundary-spanning and cross-cultural management across a number of disciplines, and constructs a multi-layered creolization framework, encompassing processes at the individual, intra- and inter-organizational and inter-national levels which, we argue, are entangled and interrelated. Viewed as a vital and innovative phenomenon, creolization embodies the interactive, contentious and creative processes of network expansion, mutual sensemaking, cultural hybridity and identity multiplicity. Qualitative empirical data from the software and services outsourcing industry in Northwest China is used to demonstrate the complexity of cross-cultural practices in offshore collaborations and illustrate creolization processes. Potentials for theoretical development are outlined and implications for cross-cultural practices are discussed.
Investing in global sourcing relationships has become a critical part of an organization’s overall strategy especially within the context of global competition, international movements of labor and interorganizational alliances. The scope of work covered by global sourcing arrangements ranges from routine IT-enabled tasks to more knowledge-intensive activities, which tend to encompass culturally embedded work practices. These culturally embedded work practices are difficult to disentangle from their context, requiring some degree of cultural understanding in order to provide successful resolution to conflicts of meaning and misinterpretations (Nicholson and Sahay, 2004, Oshri et al., 2007 and Hong and Nguyen, 2009). The success of global software projects is thus often contingent on the achievement of sufficient mutual cultural understanding, which provides the basis of trust, knowledge sharing, and smooth collaboration. Previous work on global sourcing and globally distributed work has provided empirical and practice-based examples of ways in which cross-cultural issues can be managed in cross-border alliances (Walsham, 2002, Krishna et al., 2004 and Gregory et al., 2009). It is generally recognized that, in order to facilitate communication between offshore and onshore sites in globally distributed work arrangements, an individual or role is usually identified whose main purpose is to provide a single point of contact between the two organizational groups. This individual is variously referred to as a cultural liaison (Krishna et al., 2004 and Levina and Kane, 2009), onsite coordinator (Carmel, 2006) or expatriate manager (Krishna et al., 2004 and Levina and Kane, 2009). The responsibilities of the individual or role include bridging cultural disparities, managing communication between sites, helping to develop the onsite-offsite relationship and facilitating knowledge exchange. These activities are usually referred to as boundary-spanning (Levina and Kane, 2009 and Gopal and Gosain, 2009). While concepts like “boundary spanning” or “bridging” have been useful in theorizing about cross-cultural collaborations in offshore outsourcing processes, they are also limited by their emphasis on boundaries, separation of identity, and imagery associated with geographical dispersion such as bridges spanning wide gulfs (see also Yagi and Kleinberg’s 2011 analysis of the terms). Moreover, the majority of literature on boundary spanning has focused on individual qualities, capabilities and identity, with insufficient attention paid to the organizational, inter-organizational and international levels. In general, the literature on globally distributed work has failed to provide meaningful explanations of the complexities of intercultural collaboration inherent within these arrangements (Hinds et al., 2011). It is thus argued in this paper that the cross-national and cross-cultural linkages established by “bridgeheads” can be anchored by the emergence of “cultural hybridity” that develops at the interface of cultures, customs, bodies of knowledge and institutional regimes. Drawing upon a wide range of literature from cultural studies, international business, and human resource management, and comparing and theorizing from our empirical data we propose the concept of “creolization” which encompasses interconnected concepts and processes identified in cross-cultural management of offshore outsourcing work. This paper suggests that within the context of an ongoing cross-cultural collaboration the assimilation of multiple cultural norms occurs at the individual, organizational, inter-organizational and international levels, that is, a multi-level analytical approach to cross-cultural collaboration can be envisioned. Our empirical work is an exploratory study undertaken in a relatively new Chinese technology hub in Xi’an City, Northwest China. The study investigates how Chinese software outsourcing suppliers construct practices and processes to navigate the complex cultural landscape representing the interface with their clientele. Our research objective is thus to examine how Chinese suppliers negotiate different emergent cultural practices in software and services outsourcing and to derive theoretical insights on the prevailing phenomenon of distributed collaboration in the context of technology-mediated globalization. The key contribution of this paper is the proposal of the creolization model which enriches our understanding of cross-cultural practices and processes in offshore outsourcing beyond the notion of boundary-spanning. In addition, the paper addresses two weaknesses in the extant literature: the area of global sourcing relationships from the vendor’s perspective is under-researched; and studies focusing on the Chinese software and services outsourcing (SSO) industry are sparse. The following section critically reviews the concept of “boundary-spanning” in globally distributed work. The review provides a basis for the proposal of the “creolization” concept in the next section of the paper titled “From Boundary Spanning to Creolization”. The research approach is explained in Section 4, following which the study’s empirical findings are presented. Section 6 then elaborates on the creolization model after which the paper’s contributions to theory and practice are discussed. There is a final Section 9 summarizing the key points made in the paper and proposing further research in this area.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this paper was to derive theoretical insights into the emergent and complex cross-cultural collaborative practices followed by Chinese software and services outsourcing companies in distributed collaborative relationships with their foreign clients. The objective was to gain insights into distributed collaboration through both a grounded study and an analysis of prevailing theoretical concepts, such as ‘‘bridging’’ and ‘‘boundary spanning’’, which are widely used in the literature to explain this phenomenon. The study and analysis revealed that, though concepts like boundary spanning are useful in this regard, they are limited in their conceptual richness. The paper argued that a more relevant conceptualization of these processes would be anchored in cultural hybridity, a notion that acknowledges that boundaries can be contested, negotiated, and reconfigured rather than just spanned or bridged. Creolization was thus borrowed from the cultural studies literature and used as a basis to propose an alternative view that encompasses the interrelated processes of network expansion, cultural hybridity, mutual sensemaking and identity multiplicity. The creolization framework was subsequently derived, explained and illustrated in the paper through further theorization and grounding in the study results. This constitutes the main contribution of the research. Other contributions include addressing the dearth of both literature on global sourcing from a vendor’s perspective and on the Chinese software and services industry. The study consisted of a limited sample of organizations within a fairly specific context and was undertaken using a qualitative interpretive paradigm thus limiting generalizability of the findings. Nonetheless, the insights gained from the study show aspects of the offshoring relationship hitherto only marginally addressed in the literature. The framework was also shown to be relevant to multiple levels of analysis, thus providing a more holistic view into the complexities of intercultural collaboration inherent in global sourcing arrangements. Future work in this area could take different directions. More indepth, longitudinal case studies of creolization practices could be conducted to test and develop the creolization framework to gain further and more substantial insights. The paper also commented on a number of potentially relevant and related subject areas to which the framework could be applied including knowledge management, capability development and collaborative innovation. The insights gained from this framework are also shown to have the potential to improve the practice of distributed collaboration, thus influencing the success of global sourcing arrangements and complex value networks.