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Abstract

The offshoring of information systems and services has been one of the most discussed phenomena in IS in recent years; it has significantly influenced the thinking of both academics and practitioners. The extent of offshoring of information technology-related services has been significant and the trend seems likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

Yet, there has been little in-depth study of information systems offshoring and its apparent impact on the nature of the work of, career options in, and the management of the information systems function. Although domestic IS/IT outsourcing has been prevalent for 15 or more years, there is only minimal research related to these issues in that context as well. The new realities of outsourcing and offshoring present information systems executives with legal, cultural, and managerial challenges that are not yet fully understood and educators with questions concerning appropriate curricula for the new environment. Because, there is little empirical research published in scholarly IS journals about the offshore outsourcing of information system activities and its impact on education and practice, the intent of the editors for this special issue of MIS Quarterly is to bring together a set of high quality papers that will (1) describe the state of IS offshore outsourcing practice, (2) provide a select sample of research findings, and (3) suggest potential future research in this domain.

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