Efficacy of R&D Work in Offshore Captive Centers: An Empirical Study of Task Characteristics, Coordination Mechanisms and Performance

Information Systems Research: Special Issue on Information, Technology and Changing Nature of Work, Forthcoming

43 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2014

See all articles by Deepa Mani

Deepa Mani

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Kannan Srikanth

Singapore Management University - Management Department; University of Southern Denmark - Strategic Organization Design unit (SOD)

Anandhi Bharadwaj

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Date Written: September 18, 2014

Abstract

Seizing the latest technological advances in distributed work, an increasing number of firms have set up offshore captive centers in emerging economies to carry out sophisticated R&D work. We analyze survey data from 132 R&D captive centers established by foreign multinational companies in India to understand how firms manage the execution of distributed innovative work. Specifically, we examine the performance outcomes of projects employing different technology-enabled coordination strategies to manage their interdependencies across multiple locations. We find that modularization of work across locations is largely ineffective when the underlying tasks are less routinized, less analyzable, and less familiar to the captive center. Coordinating based on information sharing across locations is effective when the captive center performs tasks that are less familiar to it. A key contribution of our work is the explication of the task contingencies under which coordination based on modularization versus information sharing yield differential performance outcomes.

Keywords: Offshoring, Captive Centers, R&D, Coordination, Distributed Work, Modularization, Information Sharing, Performance, knowledge-intensive work

Suggested Citation

Mani, Deepa and Srikanth, Kannan and Bharadwaj, Anandhi, Efficacy of R&D Work in Offshore Captive Centers: An Empirical Study of Task Characteristics, Coordination Mechanisms and Performance (September 18, 2014). Information Systems Research: Special Issue on Information, Technology and Changing Nature of Work, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2501900

Deepa Mani

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India

Kannan Srikanth (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - Management Department ( email )

50 Stamford Rd
Singapore, 178899
Singapore

University of Southern Denmark - Strategic Organization Design unit (SOD) ( email )

Campusvej 55
Odense, DK-5230 M
Denmark

Anandhi Bharadwaj

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States

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