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Enablers and Barriers of Knowledge Sharing for Offshore Outsource ISD Project: A Case Study


  • Hans Solli-Sæther

    (Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)

  • Jan Terje Karlsen

    (Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)


Many firms increase their flexibility and raise their information systems development (ISD) capacity by exploiting qualified personnel in low cost countries. Since ISD is a knowledge-intensive activity, knowledge sharing is particularly critical in an offshore outsourcing context. The purpose of this study is to investigate effects of enablers and barriers to knowledge sharing in offshore ISD projects. This research is important, as there is a need to understand knowledge organizations case by case to develop effective and contingent strategies to increase knowledge sharing. The empirical data are based on a qualitative case study with in-depth interviews following a semi-structured approach. In this research we investigate a Norwegian based information systems service provider and their offshoring of ISD to Bangladesh. The paper contributes to understanding the role and specific challenges of knowledge sharing in offshoring ISD projects. The empirical results showed that structural as well as political, cultural and personal enablers play an essential role in facilitating knowledge sharing. The role of the Scrum methodology, in particular, with its daily Scrum meeting should be underlined because it enables coordination, communication and knowledge sharing between the parties. Additionally, several key barriers hindering knowledge sharing were discovered such as lack of direct personal interaction, time differences, poor infrastructure, cultural heterogeneity, and different personalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Solli-Sæther & Jan Terje Karlsen, 2014. "Enablers and Barriers of Knowledge Sharing for Offshore Outsource ISD Project: A Case Study," International Journal of Information Technology Project Management (IJITPM), IGI Global, vol. 5(2), pages 44-59, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jitpm0:v:5:y:2014:i:2:p:44-59

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