Title: Managing trust and control when offshoring information systems development projects by adjusting project goals

Authors: Jan Terje Karlsen; Hans Solli-Sæther; Kim E. Van Oorschot; Anne Live Vaagaasar

Addresses: Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business School, 0442 Oslo, Norway ' Department of International Business, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 6025 Ålesund, Norway ' Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business School, 0442 Oslo, Norway; Department of International Business, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 6025 Ålesund, Norway ' Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business School, 0442 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: offshoring; control; trust; performance; project goals; IS development; project management; qualitative research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2021.113693

International Journal of Technology Management, 2021 Vol.85 No.1, pp.42 - 77

Accepted: 09 Oct 2020
Published online: 10 Mar 2021 *

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