Social Capital: A Framework for Studying IT Outsourcing

  • Beena George
  • Rudy Hirschheim
  • Bandula JayatilakaEmail author
  • Madhu Das
Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


Social capital provides a lens that allows us to focus on a wide range of aspects in Information Technology (IT) outsourcing vendor-client relationships. At the same time, social capital enables us to view client-vendor relationships and IT outsourcing arrangements at a greater depth. We briefly describe how social capital has become increasingly popular in a wide range of social science disciplines. Yet, there is lack of common understanding regarding social capital. Hence, this paper first presents the various aspects of the concept—history, definitions, organizational advantage from social capital, and various applications of social capital frameworks to the research on managing organizations. Out of the many conceptualizations of the concept of social capital, we selected Nahapiet and Ghoshal’s (1998) as the most appropriate one applicable to IT outsourcing. The paper then applies a comprehensive framework of social capital based on Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) to examine the IT outsourcing life-cycle and suggest future research directions in client-vendor relationship management.


Social capital Framework Relationship management Outsourcing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beena George
    • 1
  • Rudy Hirschheim
    • 2
  • Bandula Jayatilaka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Madhu Das
    • 3
  1. 1.Cameron School of BusinessUniversity of St. ThomasHoustonUSA
  2. 2.E. J. Ourso College of BusinessLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.InfosysBangaloreIndia

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