Journal Articles

Considerations for Information Systems “Backsourcing”: A Framework for Knowledge Re-integration

2011, Information Systems Management

A. Bhagwatwar, R. Hackney, K. C. Desouza


There is evidence of a growing issue with processes that have been outsourced to be ‘backsourced’, ie, where the agreement with a third party for information systems (IS) service provision is cancelled. Backsourcing is motivated by opportunities arising from changes in the business situation, redefinition of the character of outsourced service declining in quality or due to the discovery of flaws in the contract. The situation of backsourcing clearly has major implications for an organisation in terms of monetary investments, IS infrastructure and changes in employee requirements during and after the process. The research in this paper consequently acknowledges a serious challenge involving the management of systems within organizations following backsourcing events.

This paper considers a detailed analysis of two case studies of backsourcing reported from JP Morgan Chase (USA) and Sainsbury (UK). The methodological approach is highly qualitative in an attempt to reveal the soft complexities of the critical issues involved. It is grounded in empirical company reports, consultancy literature and current theoretical constructs. A major contribution of the paper is to identify important strategies to be followed in backsourcing projects to ensure efficient knowledge re-integration. In this respect, it is believed the paper is unique in identifying emergent suggestions for strategic backsourcing decision making through a series of insightful observations.


Bhagwatwar, A., Hackney, R. & Desouza, K. C. (2011). Considerations for Information Systems “Backsourcing”: A Framework for Knowledge Re-integration. Information Systems Management, 28(2), 165-173.

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