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Abstract

Software companies are increasingly offshoring development to countries with high expertise at lower cost. Offshoring involves particular risk areas that, if ignored, increase the likelihood of failure. However, the offshoring client’s maturity level may influence the management of these risk areas. Against this backdrop, we present an interpretive case study on how managers perceive and mitigate the risk areas in software development offshoring with a mature capability maturity model integration (CMMI) level 5 software company as the client. We found that managers perceived and mitigated most of the offshoring risk areas in accordance with the findings of previous research. However, the risk area of task distribution was a notable exception. In this case, managers perceived high task uncertainty, equivocality, and coupling across sites as risk mitigation rather than risk taking. The paper discusses how and why managers perceived and mitigated the risk areas in this way and the implications for theory and practice in software development offshoring.

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