Abstract: The prominence of business process outsourcing (BPO) continues to intensify in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. Engaging in BPO can help an organization focus on its core competencies, while gaining specialized knowledge, skills, and processes in auxiliary spaces. The literature is laden with evidence that engaging in a BPO will help organizations secure financial, operational, and even strategic advantages. While there is little doubt that organizations can attain these benefits, few BPO arrangements work out as planned. Managing risks in BPO arrangements is paramount. In this case analysis, we describe a significant failure through chronological description of scandals that took place at one of India’s largest outsourcing vendors, Satyam Computer Services. In describing the study, we draw attention to the fact that organizations need to (1) improve their sensing capabilities and keep abreast of strategic transformations at their outsourcing vendors, (2) be able to plan for and execute contingency plans, and (3) balance the risks and rewards of BPOs in terms of knowledge and capabilities dependencies.
Peter C. Ellis and I have a paper published in the current issue of Business Information Review.
Abstract: Attempting to merge the topics of environmental sustainability and information management, this article works towards defining both fields and constructing a viable framework that creates a strong relationship between the two topics. Reviewing literature on information management and environmental sustainability, the authors argue that the two topics must become inseparable — the work in one discipline must inform and advance the other. The need to do so is further underscored by the evolving nature of both disciplines.
To access the article, please click here [LINK]
Reference: Ellis, P.C., and Desouza, K.C. “On Information Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Cradle to Cradle Mentalities: A Relationship Framework,” Business Information Review, 26 (4), 2009, 257-264.
The current issue of the International Journal of Administration contains a paper that I authored on collaborative information and knowledge management. The paper is titled "Information and Knowledge Management in Public Sector Networks: The Case of the US Intelligence Community."
This article contributes to the public management literature by exploring the critical challenges that underpin the construction of robust information and knowledge management strategies in networked settings. The ability of the network to sustain itself, thrive, and achieve its objectives depends on the success that the network has in organizing and coordinating its constituent organizations. The network's collaborative information and knowledge management strategy is critical to the functioning of the network and the achievement of objectives. A robust information and knowledge management strategy will bring organizations in the network together, help them share resources, collaborate on efforts, and further their objectives in a holistic manner. An inadequate information and knowledge management strategy might lead to disconnects in organizations due to lack of information sharing, poor collaborative knowledge generation, lack of coordination, leading to a fragmented network. Drawing on a multi-year, multi-method, and multi-organization study of the United States Intelligence Community (USIC), the article puts forth a comprehensive framework to examine information and knowledge management challenges within the USIC, as well as other public sector organizations.
Keywords: information management; knowledge management; public sector networks; intelligence agencies; intelligence community
To access the paper, please click [LINK]
I will be giving a talk for the Washington Technology Industry Association based on my recent book, Managing Knowledge Security (Kogan Page, 2007). The talk will take place on December 7, 2009 at Seattle University. For details, please click here [Link]
Based on his recent book, Managing Knowledge Security: Strategies for Protecting Your Company's Intellectual Assets (Kogan Page, 2007), Desouza will describe how human intelligence operations are conducted to ascertain competitive intelligence. Warning his audience of business practitioners that most organizations fail to understand that their core resources intellectual assets are constantly under attack, and that protecting these resources is as important as any other part of the strategic agenda. Desouza, gives advice on how to recognize dangers of human and technological breaches, hazards of outsourcing and business alliances, implementation of breach prevention measures, and the necessity of working with disaster scenarios. He illustrates his advice with cases from his personal experience working in the fields of competitive intelligence, knowledge management, crisis management, and security operations.
Peter Ellis (http://www.petercellis.com/), a graduate student at the University of Washington Information School, and I have authored a new paper on Green IT. The paper, “On Information Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Cradle to Cradle Mentalities”, has been accepted for publication at Business Information Review.
Attempting to merge the topics of environmental sustainability and information management, this paper works towards defining both fields and constructing a viable framework that creates a strong relationship between the two topics. Reviewing literature on information management and environmental sustainability, this paper argues that the two topics must become inseparable – the work in one discipline must inform and advance the other. The need to do so is further underscored by the evolving nature of both disciplines.
“Crafting Organizational Innovation Processes” appears in the current issue of Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice
I co-authored this paper with Caroline Dombrowski (The Information School, University of Washington), Yukika Awazu (McCallum Graduate School of Business, Bentley College), Peter Baloh (Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana), Sridhar Papagari (Dept of Information & Decision Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago), Jeffrey Y Kim (The Information School, University of Washington), and Sanjeev Jha (Dept of Information & Decision Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago).
Research for this paper was funded by the Institute for Innovation in Information Management, University of Washington as part of the Leveraging Ideas for Organizational Innovation research project.
Innovation is a crucial component of business strategy, but the process of innovation may seem difficult to manage. To plan organizational initiatives around innovation or to bolster innovation requires a firm grasp of the innovation process. Few organizations have transparently defined such a process. Based on the findings of an exploratory study of over 30 US and European companies that have robust innovation processes, this paper breaks down the innovation process into discrete stages: idea generation and mobilization, screening and advocacy, experimentation, commercialization, and diffusion and implementation. For each stage, context, outputs and critical ingredients are discussed. There are several common tensions and concerns at each stage, which are enumerated; industry examples are also given. Finally, strategies for and indicators of organizational success around innovation are discussed for each stage. Successful organizations will use an outlined innovation process to create a common framework for discussion and initiatives around the innovation process, and to establish metrics and goals for each stage of the innovation process.
I have a paper accepted at the 4th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST 09). The paper, Towards a Knowledge Needs-Technology Fit Model for Knowledge Management Systems, is co-authored with Peter Baloh (University of Ljubljana). This paper is based on Peter’s dissertation. I continue to have the honor to serve as the chair of his dissertation committee.
The goal of this paper is twofold. The first goal is to provide an illustrative example of design science research, from the crafting of a research question to the execution of the research. As such, it satisfies the academic reader and practitioner who will benefit from seeing how design science research guidelines, as proposed by Hevner et al. (2004), can be rigorously followed in a practically relevant setting. The second goal is to provide a methodological contribution to the design science area by arguing for the need to add an exploratory step in the ‘build’ phase of a new design science artifact. This paper thus adds to the Hevner et al. (2004) guidelines by explicitly calling for an exploratory empirical study before actually going into the evaluation phase of design science study.
I have a new article published in Business Information Review (LINK).
Desouza, K.C. “Securing Information Assets: The Great Information Game,” Business Information Review, 26 (1), 35-41.
I was interviewed by Harvard Business Review Polska on the future of outsourcing. The interview was conducted in conjunction with the launching of the Polish Edition of The Outsourcing Handbook (Kogan Page, 2006). The Polish Edition was released in 2008 - Outsourcing: Podr?cznik sprawdzonych praktyk, Warsaw, Poland: Wydawnictwo MT Biznes.
Kevin Desouza doesn't like waste. I sought him out because I'd read he was getting some of his students to write their own textbook, but that's just part of the story....[LINK]