This research uses configuration theory and data collected from a major IT vendor organization to examine primary configurations of distributed teams in a global off-shoring context. The study indicates that off-shoring vendor organizations typically deploy three different types of configurations, which the authors term as thin-at-client, thick-at-client, and hybrid. These configurations differ in terms of the size of the sub-teams in the different distributed locations and the nature of the ISD-related tasks performed by the distributed team members. In addition, the different configurations were compared on their inherent process-related and resource-related flexibilities. The thick-at-client configuration emerged as the one that offers superior flexibility (in all dimensions).However, additional analysis also revealed contingencies apart from flexibility that may influence the appropriateness of the distributed ISD team configuration, including the volatility of the client organization’s environment and the extent to which the ISD tasks can be effortlessly moved to the vendor’s home location.
- Distributed Teams
- Global Software Outsourcing
- Information Systems Development
- Team Configurations
- Virtual Teams