MIS40690 – Managing Global Sourcing: Syllabus

Course Title: Managing Global Sourcing
Lecturer: Allen Higgins,

CITO: Centre for Innovation, Technology & Organisation
Rm Q223, Quinn Building
UCD School of Business
University College Dublin
Belfield, D4

Course Blog: http://managingglobalsourcing.blogspot.com/
Lectures are held Tuesdays in room D104, “D Block”(link to map).
Course slides and readings will be posted in Blackboard (elearning.ucd.ie).
Students must abide by UCD’s policies and regulations concerning academic conduct, respect and dignity.

Links to UCD’s policies; conduct, dignity and respect, and plagiarism (definition and policy).

Required Text
The Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Offshoring by Ilan Oshri, Julia Kotlarsky and Leslie P. Willcocks.  2nd Edition (ISBN 9780230293526) n.b. 1st Edition (ISBN 9780230235502) can be used but it does not include some content in 2nd Ed. Published by Palgrave Macmillan (link)

Module Description
Recent years have seen the emergence of a greater array of options around the sourcing of key product components and services. Business and organizations face strategic decisions surrounding which specific products/services are better provided in-house, and which may be better outsourced to an increasingly global and competitive marketplace of delivery specialists. Moreover, this new ecology of complex inter-organisational arrangements introduces a range of difficult management challenges.
This module will introduce the language and knowledge to better understand the diverse range of global sourcing options, the attendant opportunities and challenges, and approaches to addressing these in practice. Themes covered include: ongoing relationship development; the formulation of sourcing contracts and service level agreements; relationship governance structures and practices; risk management and resilience; balancing in-house and outsourced capabilities; the facilitation of effective communication and learning in context of cultural diversity and distributed work; the use of ICT; and identifying and addressing emerging relationship problems.

Learning Outcomes
On completing this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of how the outsourcing market has developed over time, and of the types of processes/services that should be considered for sourcing.
  • Describe the common modes of sourcing (e.g. in-sourcing, outsourcing, offshoring, nearshoring) and their associated advantages and disadvantages.
  • Describe how to approach strategic sourcing decisions and the choice of appropriate sourcing partners.
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how sourcing relationships may be better managed and how this might vary according to the sourcing mode.
  • Critically assess emerging trends in sourcing that are likely to be important in the future.

The lecture syllabus below follows the structure of the recommended text (Oishri et al., 2011).

Assessment & Involvement
Marks given during term will be provisional.

  1. Case studies, weekly – analysis report and discussion – group output
    • (not graded)
  2. Readings, weekly – individual questions posted as comments to blog before class
    • (not graded)
  3. 50% Combined Term-Paper (5,000 words) and Video Presentation (up to 5 minutes max) – in groups of three or two. Notes on the term paper here (link).
    • Title and abstract identifying topic due by end week 3 – only one author to submit using SafeAssign in Blackboard (not graded), latest Friday 7th Feb midnight.
    • Presentation video or slides; due at the end of week 10, link sent by email.
    • The Term Paper is due at the end of week 12 submitted by SafeAssign in Blackboard.
  4. 50% Final Exam
    • 1x (letter grade)

Course Material
Consists of Power Point slides, case studies, video clips, journal and magazine articles. The readings list and topic/themes will be refined by the lecturer during term.

Syllabus (subject to revision)

Lecture 1; Introduction to the course: structure, assessment, interaction, timetable.

Lecture 2; Topic/theme: Sourcing models and decisions

  • Chapter 2 of textbook
  • Reading: Abbott, P. & Jones, M. (2012) Everywhere and Nowhere: Nearshore software development in the context of globalisation. European Journal of Information Systems 21, 529-551
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to case in textbook: “Global Pharma” pp 30-36  2nd Ed only.

Lecture 3; Topic/theme: Country attractiveness

  • Chapter 3 of textbook
  • Reading: A.T. Kearney 2011. Offshoring Opportunities Amid Economic Turbulence: The A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index, 2011. New York: A.T. Kearney. (link)
  • Reading: Carmel, E. Eisenberg, J. Narratives that Software Nations Tell Themselves: An exploration and taxonomy, 2006. Communications of the AIS, 17, 851-872.
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “Symantec moves off-shore

Lecture 4; Topic/theme: Supplier capabilities and strategies

  • Chapter 4 of textbook
  • Reading: Keeni, G. (2000) The Evolution of Quality Processes at Tata Consultancy Services. IEEE Software, 17, 79-88.
  • Reading: Nath 2011. Aesthetic and emotional labour through stigma: national identity management and racial abuse in offshored Indian call centres. Work Employment Society. 25(4) 709–725
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to case in textbook: “Tata Consultancy Services” pp 104-108  2nd Ed only.

Lecture 5; Topic/theme: Leveraging Knowledge

  • Chapter 5 of textbook
  • Reading: Kelly, S. & Jones, M. (2001) Groupware and the Social Infrastructure of Communication: Communication technologies can supplement, but never supplant the value of social bonds and trusting relationships. Communications of the ACM. 44(12) 77-79.
  • Reading: Rottman, J. (2008) Successful knowledge transfer within offshore supplier networks: a case study exploring social capital in strategic alliances. Journal of Information Technology, 23, 31–43.
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “We have a problem Heuston

Lecture 6; Topic/theme: The client perspective

  • Chapter 6 of textbook
  • Reading: Kelly, S. & Noonan, C. (2008) Anxiety and psychological security in offshoring relationships: the role and development of trust as emotional commitment. Journal of Information Technology, 23, 232–248.
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “Happy Hollowing Customs

Lecture 7; Topic/theme: The IT outsourcing lifecycle

  • Chapter 7 of textbook
  • Reading: Tiwari, V. (2009) Transition During Offshore Outsourcing: A Process Model. ICIS 2009. Phoenix, Arizona, USA., International Conference on Information Systems.
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “Keeping Pace with the local

Lecture 8; Governance

  • Chapter 8 of textbook
  • Reading: Vlaar et al. (2008) Cocreating Understanding and Value in Distributed Work: How members of onsite and offshore vendor teams Give, make, demand, and break sense. MIS Quarterly, 32/2, pp. 227-255
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “Core banking source

Lecture 9; Topic/theme: Global, distributed, teams

  • Chapter 9 of textbook
  • Reading: Malhotra, A., Majchrzak, A. & Rosen, B. (2007) Leading Virtual Teams. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21, 60-70.
  • Reading: Krishna et al. (2004) Managing Cross-Cultural Issues in Global Software Outsourcing. Communications of the ACM. 47(4), 62-66
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “Managing Global Local

Lecture 10; Topic/theme: Emerging issues for sourcing

  • Chapter 10 of textbook
  • Reading: Gefen, D. & Carmel, E. (2008) Is the World Really Flat? A Look at Offshoring at an Online Programming Marketplace. MIS Quarterly, 32, 367-84.
  • In-class: Analyse and respond to mini-case: “Celtic Tiger, Chinese Dragon

Lecture 11

  • Presentations, discussion and commentary.

Lecture 12

  • Presentations, discussion and commentary.
  • Summary and review of module


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