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Coordination and Performance in Global Software Service Delivery: The Vendor's Perspective

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4 Author(s)
Gopal, A. ; Robert H. Smith Sch. of Bus., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA ; Espinosa, J.A. ; Gosain, S. ; Darcy, D.P.

Past research on software development outsourcing has explored in some detail the client's perspective and its attendant performance issues. However, relatively few studies have explicitly addressed performance drivers viewed from the vendor side. In this paper, we fill this gap by examining how coordination within the project team and between the client and the vendor organizations influence two dimensions of software project performance-software quality and development speed-using data from 83 software projects from nine Indian software firms. Our results show that both client (external) coordination and vendor team (internal) coordination positively influenced software quality, but not development speed. We also found that client communication barriers moderated the impact of coordination with the client on quality. While we did not find that vendor-team coordination affected development speed, team size had a negative interaction effect with vendor-team coordination on development speed. Interestingly, temporal boundaries had a detrimental effect on software quality, but a positive effect on development speed. Finally, we found that development speed increased with the number of person days devoted to the project up to a certain point (i.e., a first-order effect), but speed declined with additional person days (i.e., a second-order effect). Our findings contribute to literature and practice by offering nuanced insights into performance in outsourcing projects from the vendor perspective and the role of coordination, both within the vendor team and with the client.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 4 )