Despite the experience with IS outsourcing for decades, numerous outsourcing arrangements fail in practice. Likely reasons for such failures can be ascribed to divergent expectations and an inappropriate governance of the outsourcing relationship. The objective of this paper is to explore different types of outsourcing relationships and their configuration depending on the underlying expectations of outsourcing clients. Based on survey responses from 268 outsourcing clients, the data was analyzed with an exploratory factor analysis revealing four main outsourcing motives. These factors were used as distinguishing variables in a subsequent cluster analysis revealing four distinct outsourcing client types: business-efficiency clients, cost-conscious clients, strategists, and IT-excellence and reliability-oriented clients. These types were characterized along their underlying outsourcing motives and attributes that form each type. The findings call for a more differentiated view on outsourcing relationships. The paper concludes with implications for outsourcing clients and vendors and an outlook on future research.
Leimeister, Stefanie and Krcmar, Helmut, "Identifying Different IS Outsourcing Client Types" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 800.