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Track19: IT Governance & Sourcing

Track Chairs

Martin Wiener, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany,
Magnus Mähring, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden,
Ulrich Remus, University of Innsbruck, Austria,


In today’s environment, the available choices and possibilities for how to source IT make the demands on effective IT governance even greater and more multifaceted. Over the past decade “new” IT sourcing models, such as offshore outsourcing or crowd and open sourcing, have become a well-established practice. By going beyond borders and boundaries, these models challenge existing conceptualizations and theories of IT governance:

  • Outsourced IT projects span national borders, bridge organizational boundaries and highlight the intersection of cultures.
  • Crowd-sourced and open-sourced projects (which frequently drift into or are recreated in the corporate domain) not only challenge organizational boundaries, but also traditional ideas about ownership of resources, tasks and outputs, yet they are in various ways controlled.
  • Cloud services may make the IT artifact seemingly disappear, but while the IT resources have moved outside of the organization’s boundaries, the efforts of molding organizational routines, usage practices, and IT resources have not disappeared and still have to be controlled.
  • Where more “traditional” technologies and organizational arrangements are still dominant, such as for example with ERP packages, the challenges of exercising governance over development and implementation efforts remain highly important and complex.

IT sourcing initiatives are often organized in the form of projects. To advance such projects towards their goals, governance and control mechanisms are needed to regulate the actions of stakeholders, to motivate participants, and to ensure that their capabilities are fully brought to bear on the task. As such, the term IT project governance emphasizes not only the control of an individual project, but also the organizational governance mechanisms for monitoring and overseeing IT projects, which are enacted in each individual project. This includes for example the use of project management offices (PMOs), the role of the board of directors, project portfolio management practices, and the coordination of related IT projects through “change programs” or other coordination mechanisms.

The objective of this track is to foster and promote research on IT (project) governance and sourcing by providing deeper, richer, and more nuanced insights into the topic. The track particularly tries to bring together researchers studying governance issues in different sourcing contexts (e.g., outsourcing, offshoring, agile and open source software development, etc.), from different stakeholder perspectives (e.g., client vs. vendor, business vs. IT), as well as using innovative research methods. We thus particularly welcome papers that address the overall conference theme “Beyond Borders” by addressing IT governance and sourcing at the intersection between hierarchical, organizational, national, and cultural borders. We also welcome contributions that venture beyond the boundaries of current conceptualizations and theorizations of IT governance and sourcing.

The track will invite both completed research papers and research in progress papers.

Topics of interest

  • IT governance: Effective governance structures, processes, and capabilities; executive and board involvement in IT governance; structure and nature of business-IT relationships, etc.
  • IT sourcing decisions and outcomes of various sourcing models including outsourcing,crowd and open sourcing, sourcing in the cloud, offshoring, nearshoring, insourcing and shared services; governance structures that produce sourcing decisions, multivendor strategies
  • IT sourcing practices: Contractual vs. relational governance, agency vs. stewardship theories, client-vs. vendor-retained capabilities, governance of vendor portfolios
  • Interfaces between IT governance and IT project governance: Impact of IT governance arrangements on IT projects; PMOs, project portfolio management, and other arrangements that allow monitoring, control, and prioritization of resources and work between projects; executive and board involvement in ITprojects, roles and responsibilities of IT project stakeholders, etc.
  • IT project governance/control: Governance of different project types and methodologies (e.g., internal vs. outsourced, traditional vs. agile), dynamics of governance and control mechanisms across the project lifecycle, transmission of control in hierarchical and lateral relationships, etc.
  • Social aspects of IT (project) governance: Cultural influences on governance practices,intended vs. unintended effects of governance mechanisms, etc.
  • New theoretical perspectives and research approaches that challenge and/or broaden our understanding of IT governance and sourcing, such as critical and constructivist views, action design research, longitudinal and ethnographic approaches, etc.

Associate Editors

Daniel Beimborn, University of Bamberg, Germany
Jens Dibbern, University of Bern, Switzerland
Robert Gregory, University of Göttingen, Germany
Thomas Kude, University of Mannheim, Germany
Dennis Kundisch, University of Paderborn, Germany
Susanne Leist, University of Regensburg, Germany
Johan Magnusson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Gary Pan, Singapore Management University, Singapore
Joe Peppard, Cranfield University, UK
Carol Saunders, University of Central Florida, USA
Susanne Strahringer, University of Dresden, Germany
Steffen Zimmermann, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Nils Urbach, EBS Business School, Wiesbaden, Germany

Markus Strohmaier, Graz University of Technology, Austria