How corporations e-source: From business technology projects to value networks

Leslie P. Willcocks, Robert Plant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A 78 organization study in USA, Europe and Australasia throughout 1999-2001 finds a variety of practices in sourcing the development and running of technology and e-businesses in value networks. The paper points to trade-offs in e-sourcing decisions, not least between speed to the net, cost, and organizational learning. Leading and lagging practices are identified and the evolutionary paths organizations take are described and assessed. Outsourcing emerges as highly useful for specific purposes, but other ways of using the external market for e-business development can be more suitable for certain identifable activities. The paper further discusses how external sourcing and partnering practices are increasingly being extended into the customer resource life-cycle, into supply chains and throughout value networks. Case examples are discussed and the strengths and weaknesses of their practices identified. The need to clarify core capabilities is demonstrated, and two matrices that facilitate effective e-sourcing decisions are developed to summarize the findings from the research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • E-business
  • IT development
  • Information technology
  • Networks
  • Sourcing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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