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Certification in the Indian Offshore IT Services Industry


  • Anandasivam Gopal

    () (Decision, Operations, and Information Technologies, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742)

  • Guodong (Gordon) Gao

    () (Decision, Operations, and Information Technologies, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742)


Third-party process certification programs such as the ISO 9001 and capability maturity model (CMM) have been widely adopted in recent years. In this study we employ three competing theoretical frameworks--signaling, efficiency gains, and institutional theory--to analyze the motivations for a firm to acquire quality certification and the performance implications thereafter. We test these hypotheses in the context of CMM certification based on data from the Indian offshore IT services industry between 1997 and 2002. Our results indicate that more cost-effective firms and export-oriented firms are more likely to seek out and acquire certification. In addition, CMM-certified firms show significant improvements in exports, but not on the firm's cost structure. Furthermore, our findings suggest that CMM certification helps indicate firm capabilities to potential customers and thus appear to be most consistent with signaling explanations of certification rather than the efficiency gains or institutional theories.

Suggested Citation

  • Anandasivam Gopal & Guodong (Gordon) Gao, 2009. "Certification in the Indian Offshore IT Services Industry," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 471-492, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:11:y:2009:i:3:p:471-492

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kevin B. Hendricks & Vinod R. Singhal, 2001. "The Long-Run Stock Price Performance of Firms with Effective TQM Programs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(3), pages 359-368, March.
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    6. Khanna, Madhu & Damon, Lisa A., 1999. "EPA's Voluntary 33/50 Program: Impact on Toxic Releases and Economic Performance of Firms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-25, January.
    7. Donald E. Harter & Mayuram S. Krishnan & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2000. "Effects of Process Maturity on Quality, Cycle Time, and Effort in Software Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 451-466, April.
    8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Reputation Effects and the Limits of Contracting: A Study of the Indian Software Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 989-1017.
    9. Richard Kum-yew Lai, 2005. "Inventory Signals," Microeconomics 0509001, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mingfeng Lin & Paulo Goes, 2012. "The Appeal of Third-party Certifications: Information Unraveling in Natural Experiments," Working Papers 12-02, NET Institute.
    2. Chonnikarn Fern Jira & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "Engaging Supply Chains in Climate Change," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-026, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2012.
    3. Upadhyayula, Rajesh S. & Dhandapani, Karthik & Karna, Amit, 2017. "The Role of Cluster Presence and Quality Certification in Internationalization and Performance of Offshore Service Providers," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 72-86.
    4. Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Anandasivam Gopal & Ritu Agarwal, 2010. "Contingent Effects of Quality Signaling: Evidence from the Indian Offshore IT Services Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(6), pages 1012-1029, June.
    5. Clougherty, Joseph A. & Grajek, Michal & Shy, Oz, 2016. "Taking 'Some' of the Mimicry Out of the Adoption Process: Quality-Management and Strategic Substitution," CEPR Discussion Papers 11661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Upadhyayula, Rajesh & Karthik, D. & Karna, Amit, 2015. "Role of Clusters and Certification in the Internationalization of Offshoring Service Providers from Emerging Markets: A Study of Indian IT firms," IIMA Working Papers WP2015-03-35, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.


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