Purpose: This paper aims to propose a new theoretical perspective on the organizational design of offshoring service organizations by adopting an information processing perspective which incorporates the factors of collaborative information technologies, task commoditization and global customer service delivery that are characteristic of modern-day knowledge-intensive service (KIS) organizations.
Design/methodology/approach: The authors analyze data from a large multiyear survey of offshoring service providers conducted in 12 countries.
Findings: The authors show how use of collaborative technology is significantly and positively related to spatial and configurational dispersion, task commoditization is significantly and positively related to spatial and temporal dispersion and need for global customer presence is not related to spatial, temporal or configurational dispersion.
Research limitations/implications: The paper integrates concepts from management information system (MIS), operations management and international business to show how collaborative technology, task characteristics and customer service requirements affect the global dispersion of KISs.
Practical implications: The results show how use of collaborative technology, task characteristics and global customer service requirements need to be jointly considered in the global dispersion of activities by KIS providers.
Originality/value: The study sheds light on the effect of the key factors on different dimensions of global dispersion (i.e. spatial/temporal/configurational dispersion) in offshoring service provider organizations. Second, it shows how the traditional information processing perspective on organizations can be updated and applied to KIS organizations by incorporating the factors of global collaborative information technologies, task commoditization and global customer service.
- Collaborative technology
- Customer service
- Global dispersion
- Information processing perspective
- Knowledge-intensive services (KIS)
- Offshoring service providers