The increasing trend of engaging multiple vendors, coupled with the concern for “possible” loss of knowledge in outsourcing relationship, compels us to investigate organizational learning in multi-vendor outsourcing from a social relation perspective. The nature of social relation has been conceptualized in terms of how organizational relationships with social entities facilitate and/or inhibit knowledge flow and organizational learning. This research-in-progress study tries to investigate how three critical dimensions - structural, affective and cognitive - in social relations are associated with organizational learning approaches, i.e., exploitative learning or exploratory learning in the context of IT outsourcing. In particular, we examine how two different relational models - multi-vendor dominant model and single vendor dominant model - in the multi-vendor outsourcing are associated with the three dimensions of social relations by proposing six hypotheses. We intend to test them empirically via questionnaires in a field study. With the findings, we anticipate five major theoretical and practical contributions.
Lee, Jae-Nam; Heng, Cheng Suang; and Lee, Jung, "Multi-Vendor Outsourcing: Relational Structures and Organizational Learning From a Social Relation Perspective" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 71.