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The Interdependence of Coordination and Cooperation in Information Technology Outsourcing

Informations Systems Research. March 24, 2023

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The success of information technology outsourcing projects largely depends on the extent to which partners are willing to learn through interactions with each other. This study investigates the antecedents and consequences of relational learning between clients and vendors in outsourcing projects. Drawing on the collaboration framework in interfirm relationships research, this study examines the interdependence of coordination and cooperation. The two antecedents of relational learning (i.e., shared domain knowledge and motivational elements) represent coordination and cooperation mechanisms. We investigate the independent (main) and interdependent (moderation) effects of these mechanisms on relational learning from both the client and vendor perspectives. The findings show that the interdependent model is better in explaining the impact of coordination and cooperation mechanisms in outsourcing projects. This finding enables partners to understand relationship dynamics more comprehensively and develop collaboration mechanisms that can bring synergy between coordination and cooperation. Our study also shows that the perceptions of motivational elements are not symmetric between clients and vendors.