The aim of this research is to provide insights into the interplay between contractual and relational governance in IT outsourcing arrangements. Current IT outsourcing literature has predominantly viewed the contract as a governance mechanism that establishes a framework for the supplier-client relationship, monitors behaviours and measures performance. Our study departs from this high level view and using the Foucauldian notion of governmentality, sheds light upon the conjunction of formal and social control that the contract manifests. Along these lines, our analysis will provide insights into the role of the contract in the creation of “reflexive self-control” and its potential to contribute to the establishment of shared norms, values and goals.