Why risk management matters in IT outsourcing - A systematic literature review and elements of a research agenda


In this paper, we present a systematic literature review in the field of IT Outsourcing with a focus on

risk management. The source material of the review consists of 97 high quality journal articles

published in 18 journals between 2001 and September 2008. Besides an analysis of related work, this

review provides an overview of applied research methods and theories in the field of IT Outsourcing.

The articles are then analyzed from a risk management point of view to highlight key risk factors and

their specific impact on IT Outsourcing. Identified risk factors are further analyzed in order to assign

each risk factor to the phases of a typical IT Outsourcing process (life-cycle). The results of the review

show that empirical research is the most applied method and that action research and reference

modelling have not been used at all so far. Furthermore, elements of a research agenda are discussed

in order to determine further steps to the construction of a reference model for risk management in IT

Outsourcing. This paper mainly aims at an audience of experienced researchers in the field of IT

Outsourcing who are looking for research ideas and at junior scientists (e.g. PhD students) entering

this emerging field of research.

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