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The realignment of offshoring frame disputes (OFD): an ethnographic ‘cultural’ analysis

By M.N. Ravishankar


This article was published in the European Journal of Information Systems [Palgrave Macmillan / © Operational Research Society Ltd] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2014.5In Information Systems (IS) research on cross-cultural issues, cultural categories\ud are typically introduced as analytical labels that explain why and how organizational\ud groups in different parts of the world act and think differently. However,\ud broad cultural categories can also be discursively mobilized by organizational\ud members as strategic adaptive resources. Drawing on an ethnographic study of\ud offshoring frame disputes (OFD) in an Indian subsidiary unit of a large Western\ud information technology (IT) organization, this paper explores how members\ud actively invoke a series of beliefs about Western culture and implicitly position\ud them as the binary opposite of Eastern (or Indian) culture. The findings\ud demonstrate how the mobilization of such beliefs eventually plays a vital role in\ud the reconciliation of four different types of OFD. Drawing on this analysis, I build\ud a social–psychological process model that explains how frame extensions trigger\ud a cognitive reorganization process, leading to the accomplishment of OFD\ud realignment. The paper argues that discursively invoked binary cultural categories\ud help maintain non-confrontational definitions of situations and sustain\ud working relationships in IT offshoring environments. Furthermore, interpretations\ud linked to cultural notions seem to reflexively take the offshore–onshore\ud power differentials into account

Topics: Frame disputes, Ethnography, Offshoring, Culture, India
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan / © Operational Research Society Ltd.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1057/ejis.2014.5
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.lboro.ac.uk:2134/16920
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