The Impact of Impact Sourcing: Framing a Research Agenda

  • Erran Carmel
  • Mary C. LacityEmail author
  • Andrew Doty
Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


Impact sourcing is a sourcing model that aims to transform people’s lives, families, and communities through meaningful employment in the Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and digitally-enabled microwork sectors. Globally, impact sourcing may employ as many as 561,000 people and may generate as much as $20 billion world-wide by 2015. Despite the potential value of impact sourcing, there is little research on this emerging phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to develop an impact sourcing research framework that identifies key stakeholders and constructs and directs future research. The framework comprises an ecosystem of different stakeholders, including the impact sourcers (the providers), employees of impact sourcers, communities where employees reside, and clients of impact sourcing services. The framework also includes global issues, like location attractiveness, and public policy issues. Although more research is needed on all the key constructs identified in the framework, we posit that the most important of these is the impact of impact sourcing on the employees (the people whose lives are presumably improving as a result of impact sourcing) and the communities around them.


Impact sourcing Ethical sourcing Sustainable global outsourcing Micro-work Social outsourcing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Information Technology and UPS Scholar Kogod School of BusinessAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Curators’ Professor of Information Systems College of BusinessUniversity of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Monitoring and Evaluation Senior Fellow Village EnterpriseSan CarlosUSA

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