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Abstract

Research on global multivendor information systems development (ISD) outsourcing projects has uncovered several management challenges, resulting mainly from the complexity of coordinating multiple vendors across geographical locations. However, a gap persists regarding effective management practices in this context. This study employs an exploratory, single-case study design with grounded theory techniques to generate new, empirically grounded theory regarding mindful management practices. In particular, (1) relational knowledge should be viewed as an enabler but not as a standard recipe for interfirm cooperation, (2) cross-organizational trial-and-error learning processes should be leveraged early in the project, (3) intervendor power relations should be determined on the basis of expertise, and (4) multichannel communication should be structured around the context. These four practices are supported by theoretical insights drawn from organizational mindfulness theory: commitment to resilience, preoccupation with failure, under-specification of structures, and sensitivity to operations. Therefore, the papers main theoretical contribution is the introduction and extension of organizational mindfulness to the domain of global multivendor sourcing, marking an important first step for extending prior theory to the context of interorganizational exchange relationships and networks, with key implications for research and practice.

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