Growth in the outsourcing of IT services has led many organizations to enter into negotiated contractual agreements with both internal and external service providers known as information technology service level agreements (IT SLAs). To further empirical research into IT SLAs, we present a methodological approach based on the theory of conceptual spaces that allows the content of these negotiated agreements to be analyzed and compared geometrically using vector representation. The outcome of such an analysis is a set of distance measures by which defensible statements regarding the similarity of IT SLAs can be made. We also discuss how the comparisons provide insights for IT SLA negotiation researchers that go beyond alternate empirical and analytic methods. The implications of these comparisons are discussed with a specific focus on research methods that can foster cumulative empirical investigation of IT SLA negotiation support system requirements.
Soper, Daniel S.; Goul, Michael; Demirkan, Haluk; Aranda, Eileen; and Aranda, Luis, "A Vector Based, Content Analytic Methodology for Comparing Negotiated IT Service Level Agreements" (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. 425.