Theoretical Framework on Information Systems Sourcing

  • Jens Dibbern
Part of the Information Age Economy book series (AGEECONOMY)


The building of a theoretical framework may be viewed as a preliminary state of model building. It comprises statements about relations among broadly defined concepts within a set of boundary assumptions and constraints. The model building refines the theoretical framework and puts it into concrete terms, so that it can be examined empirically. Together they form what may be called a well structured theory (Bacharach, 1989; Kirsch, 1981).


Transaction Cost Information System Intellectual Capital Sustained Competitive Advantage Transaction Cost Theory 
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  1. 3.
    For an overview of the evolution of “data processing” in corporations, see Heinzl (1996, pp. 315-322).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Resource-dependence theory has been categorized as strategic by Lee et al. (2000), because it was applied in a strategic sense in the IS outsourcing literature, however, it is more rooted in the social/behavioral perspective as will be shown subsequently.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    This goes back to Arrow (1969, p. 48) who stated, “(…) market failure is not absolute; it is better to consider a broader category, that of transaction costs, which, in general, impede and in particular case block the formation of markets” (cited by Williamson, 1981b, p. 676).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Prior to outsourcing research it has been used to study vertical integration and make-orbuy choices (for an overview see the reviews from Rindfleisch and Heide, 1997 as well as Shelanski and Klein, 1995).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    In this realm, it may be noted that Hayek (1945) has been the more radical and consistent proponent of this view.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    In addition, Nelson and Winter’s work has been illuminated by Penrose (1959), Simon (1957), and Cyert and March (1963).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    That is, transaction costs do not only include direct costs, but also opportunity costs “(…) in form of time and effort that is taken away from alternative value creating usage” (Kaas, 1992, p. 10-translated from German; similar by Rindfleisch and Heide, 1997, p. 47; both cited by Jensen, 2001, p. 20).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    The difference between opportunistic behavior and attitudes towards opportunism has been explicated by Ghoshal and Moran (1996).Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    Hypotheses 7a follows subsequently.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    The increasing diffusion of internet applications, which support customer interaction paired by more advanced data mining tools may be viewed as a promising starting point to improve the transparency of the influential role of IS on sales.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    A preliminary model has been developed by Grossmann and Hart, 1986.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    The idea of structuring the concepts by asking different questions has been illuminated by the work from Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1963, p. 311ff.), who elaborated six major features of culture, and by Keller (1982, p. 144ff.), who identified eight characteristics of culture.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Dibbern
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität MannheimMannheimGermany

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