Interorganizational Boundary Spanning in Global Software Development: A Case Study of an Indian Vendor´s Collaboration with Western Clients

Anne-Marie Søderberg, Laurence Romani

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Western companies´ outsourcing of projects to emergent markets are increasingly being replaced by strategic partnerships that require closer collaboration between client and vendor. Existing research on
    global teamwork has primarily focused on the challenges, limitations and difficulties related to virtuality and cultural diversity. This paper, which draws on a case study of collaborative work in a global software development project, focuses on key boundary spanners in an Indian vendor company, who
    are responsible for developing trustful and sustainable client relations and coordinating complex projects across multiple cultures, languages, organisational boundaries, time zones and geographical distances. It looks into how these vendor managers get prepared for their complex boundary spanning work, which cross-cultural challenges they experience in their collaboration with Western clients, and which skills and competencies they draw on in their efforts to deal with emerging cross-cultural issues
    in a way that paves ground for developing a shared understanding and common platform for the client and vendor representatives.
    A framework of boundary spanning leadership practices is adapted to the offshore outsourcing context and used in the analysis of narrative interviews with the Indian vendor managers. The authors also contribute with a more context sensitive understanding of the inter-organizational boundary work that
    these managers are involved in. By applying Bourdieu´s concept of capital (economic, cultural, social and symbolic) in the analysis of imbalances of power between the vendor and the client, they highlight that power and politics need to be taken into account when studying collaborative partnerships in a
    global context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages41
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event13th EIASM Workshop on International Management - Ca’Foscari University, Venice, Italy
    Duration: 23 Oct 201524 Oct 2015
    Conference number: 13


    Workshop13th EIASM Workshop on International Management
    LocationCa’Foscari University
    Internet address


    • Emerging Market MNC
    • Power Inequalities
    • Qualitative Research
    • Vendor Perspectives

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