A case is described of a firm, which decided to develop a new IT system using a mixture of contract or outsourced workers and company employees. The company employees were placed in the key positions on the project so that outsourced workers were relegated to the technical jobs with no real prospect of promotion or development. These strategic choices set the context for the outsourcing process that emerged. A key problem that was identified was a very high level of turnover among the outsourced workers. This was problematic because it created increased costs of recruitment, meant that there were often temporary unfilled vacancies and lead to significant knowledge loss. The analysis focused on exploring ways to improve the process of outsourced worker recruitment so that people were selected who were more likely to remain on the project and so reduce turnover and the associated problems. However, analysis of the context and the constraints that existed given this context suggested that turnover was inevitable and that fundamental changes to the recruitment process were not feasible. Instead efforts were directed at smoothing the recruitment process to reduce the problems caused by high turnover. The paper concludes that theoretical frameworks need to be developed for improving IT management that are contextually embedded. A framework is presented which considers the context and constraints in this particular case.
Newell, Sue and Maertens, Marward, "Managing the Resourcing Process in an IT Outsourcing Environment: A Case Example" (2001). ECIS 2001 Proceedings. 97.