Managing trust and control when offshoring information systems development projects by adjusting project goals
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Technology Management. 2021, 85 (1), 42-77. 10.1504/IJTM.2021.113693
This article presents a study of two projects focusing on the relationships of two Nordic clients with suppliers in low-cost countries. It explores the interplay between trust and control when offshoring information systems development projects. The key insight reveals that trust is not a substitute for control, no matter its level. The paper offers several contributions. First, we build a conceptual model for exploring the relationship between trust and control and the role of actual project performance. Second, the study reveals that trust supports a team's willingness to share knowledge, and control facilitates its ability to do so. Furthermore, our analysis shows that the impact of trust and control on project performance is better managed through the adjustment of project goals instead of adjusting the levels of trust and control. Finally, we contribute to theory through the development of a causal model of trust, control, actual performance, and project goals.