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Archive for the ‘Cultural Diversity’ Category

10 things to think about when you are offshore outsourcing IT

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on January 14, 2016 – 4:37 PM

** This blog entry is first published on LinkedIN Pulse on January 14th 2016.  Offshore outsourcing (i.e. moving work to another legal entity in another part of the world) of IT-services is by no means a trivial task. All too often we see companies fail in reaching their goals and delivering the value and/or cost savings that they set out to achieve when they started on ‘project outsourcing’. Many companies are blinded by what appears to be huge savings in labor arbitrage. There is indeed a good business case in offshore outsourcing of IT-activities, but it requires mature planning and execution. […]

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A contextual explanation of workplace behavior in India

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on April 29, 2015 – 6:08 PM

Over the years I have often encountered Danes who are so confident that their (Our!) way of working is the only one that makes sense. Tirelessly I have argued against this perspective and suggested that from an ethical as well as a pragmatic perspective this perspective is plain wrong! And counterproductive! First, its (borderline) racist. Secondly, if we deny even the option that theycould be right and maintain the “western management is better” discourse we miss out on an enormous potential. After all the certain way to stupidity is refusing that we can learn anything from others!

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PhD Dissertation now Available

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on April 3, 2015 – 3:06 PM

On 2nd of March I defended my PhD dissertation and I can now call myself Doctor of Philosophy :). The PhD dissertation is entitled: “Trustworthiness: Enabling Global Collaboration – An Ethnographic Study of Trust, Distance, Control, Culture and Boundary Spanning within Offshore Outsourcing of IT Services”

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What are Your Indian Team Mates Good at?

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on October 20, 2012 – 8:19 PM

In interviews, casual conversations, cultural training sessions and other encounters with Danes working with Indian counterparts in offshoring setups I have asked variations of the headline of this blog post at least 200 times over the last couple of years. Usually I either draw or ask people to imagine a horizontal line. At one end of the line is what they themselves are really good at and their Indian counterparts are really bad at. At the other end of the line is the opposite. That is, something that the Indian counterparts are excellent at and they themselves are poor at.

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The Evolution of an Expatriate

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on October 2, 2012 – 12:20 PM

Expatriating employees is expensive and many firms experience that expatriations are unsuccessful both from a business perspective and from a personal perspective, where expatriates experience culture shocks and never adjusts to the host country culture. Based on my own experiences I have discussed how to avoid expatriation failures in another blog post. In this post we will have a closer look at the dynamics and evolution of an expatriate’s life; and what organizations can do to proactively increase chances of successful expatriatriation according to the research of Professor Jon M. Shapiro and his colleagues.

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How to Avoid Expatriation Failures?

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on October 1, 2012 – 12:15 AM

Over the last couple of years, being an ex-expatriate myself, I have spoken to quite a few professionals with expatriate experience. When groups of (former) expatriate managers meet I find that one of the subjects most often discussed is ‘How to act as a leader or manager in a foreign cultural setting‘. I was luckier than most: When I went to India to work I was enrolled in a team of four expatriates in the company with substantial experience from India; and all with the inclination to share their experiences with me. Also, I was so fortunate to meet two […]

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Lesson 101: Understanding the Brites

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on September 5, 2012 – 1:09 AM

I got an email with the picture below. OK. It’s supposed to be funny. And it is. But at the same time it actually illustrates the difficulties of communication very well. Especially for Danes who typically are (much like Americans – and my guess is that the list is made by an American) very direct in their communication it is very difficult to communicate with e.g. Indians who has a more indirect way of communicating. This difference between direct and indirect communication is what the antropologist Edward T. Hall calls low-context communication and high-context communication in his 1976 classic ‘Beyond […]

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Can One Outsource Physical Excercise?

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on September 4, 2012 – 11:00 AM

On ‘The Outsource Blog’ one can find the below comic strip. Is it funny? Well, that’s up to you to decide. To me it is funny, but at the same time somewhat disturbing as it (to me at least) touches upon something that is very true as it has at least two significant points: Outsourcing is not something you “just do”, but rather something that can be highly beneficial if you cater for it and prepare adequately. There seems to be a tendency that what companies in their day-to-day business offshore is “the boring stuff” or “the easy stuff” rather […]

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Conference on Global Software Development in Copenhagen

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on September 2, 2012 – 3:21 PM

On September 10th 2012 the ‘Next Generation Global Software Development’ project financed by the Danish Reserach Council hosts a conference on Global Software Development at the IT University of Copenhagen. Participation is free of charge, registration is required. The  conference is focused on the challenges and opportunities in global software development. The GSD conference is aimed for practitioners who are curious about the current state of the art within globally distributed software development both from a scientific and an industrial perspective. 

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Blog Disclaimer

Icon Written by Thomas Tøth on September 1, 2012 – 10:56 AM

The blog post made available to you on sourcewise.biz draws on both years experiences from practice work within offshoring as well as scholarly knowledge from the fields of offshoring, culture theory, trust theory and much more. The blog aims at providing valuable insights to outsourcing practitioners based on a solid foundation of both practice and theory. However, the blog is not an academic discussion; does not follow academic standards with regards to citing; and is not to be thought of as an academic contribution. Academic contributions are to be found on the  ‘Publications’ page. The blog is open to all – […]

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