Cultural Intelligence of Offshore IT Suppliers

Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


Today’s IT service suppliers increasingly need to acquire “cultural intelligence”, or the ability to operate in a culturally-diverse environment. Based on an interview-based, qualitative case study of one of the largest IT service suppliers in China, this study explores how the offshore IT service supplier develops cultural intelligence through interaction with a portfolio of clients with diverse cultural backgrounds. Drawing on the dynamic constructivist view of culture, the study adapts the concept of cultural frame to define a set of shared interpretive schemes and practices that enable the supplier to make sense of and respond to clients from different cultures. During repeated client-supplier interaction, supplier employees’ cultural frames are continuously enacted, aligned and realigned, and eventually institutionalized into a set of cultural structures and artifacts. This emergence and embedding process is both facilitated by, and in turn enhances, the supplier’s firm-level cultural intelligence.


IT outsourcing Cultural intelligence Supplier’s perspective Offshoring 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ivey Business SchoolWestern UniversityLondonCanada

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