Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 165–178 | Cite as

Understanding the outsourcing learning curve: A longitudinal analysis of a large Australian company

  • Julie Fisher
  • Rudy Hirschheim
  • Robert Jacobs


Outsourcing continues to capture the attention of researchers as more companies move to outsourcing models as part of their business practice. Two areas frequently researched and reported in the literature are the reasons why a company decides to outsource, and outsourcing success factors. This paper describes an in-depth, longitudinal case study that explores both the reasons why the company decided to outsource and factors that impact on success. The paper describes how Alpha, a very large Australian communications company, approached outsourcing and how its approach matured over a period of 9 years. The paper concludes that although a number of reasons are proposed for a company's decision to outsource, lowering costs was the predominant driver in this case. We also describe other factors identified as important for outsourcing success such as how contracts are implemented, the type of outsourcing partner arrangement, and outsourcing vendor capabilities.


Outsourcing IT services Phases of outsourcing Learning curve Case study Interpretative analysis Longitudinal analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Caulfield EastMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Louisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.Moonee PondsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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