In achieving success in global sourcing arrangements, the role of a cultural liaison, boundary spanner or transnational intermediary is frequently highlighted as being critical. In this paper, we argue that concepts like “boundary spanning” have been limited in theorizing the complexities of cross-cultural collaborations in offshore outsourcing processes. This paper presents an alternative framework of “creolization” that combines and further extends theoretical understandings of these processes. We investigated 13 companies through 26 in-depth, semi-structured interviews in Xi’an Software Park, an emerging Chinese software and services outsourcing hub. A grounded analysis of the data revealed four conceptual groupings for the practices undertaken at these companies, labeled as boundary spanning, mixed identity, network expansion and cultural hybridity. We posit that the process of creolization supports these practices and furthermore provides a unique basis for strategies positioning cross-cultural work from a supplier’s perspective.
Abbott, Pamela; Zheng, Yingqin; Du, Rong; and Willcocks, Leslie, "From Boundary Spanning to Creolization: Cross-cultural Strategies from the Offshore Provider’s Perspective" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 274.