Technology Service Inter-organizational Relationships: An Agenda for Information Technology Service Sourcing Research

Pamsy P. Hui, Nils O. Fonstad, Cynthia M. Beath

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This article identifies four dimensions that set technology services fundamentally apart from the commodities-like products theorized and studied in the literature on firm boundaries. Specifically, it argues that: technology services often require capabilities that are specialized and heterogeneously distributed across organizational boundaries; technology services are highly uncertain by nature; the value of a technology service cannot be evaluated by the tangible assets acquired; and the feasibility of a technology service depends on the technology and related capabilities in place in an organization. Different technology services vary along these four dimensions, but they are all substantially different from other products and services on all four dimensions. This article illustrates how inadequate consideration of one or more of these features of technology services contributes to the equivocal character of research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Inter-Organizational Relations
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577277
ISBN (Print)9780199282944
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2009


  • Assets
  • Commodities-like products
  • Organizational boundaries
  • Research
  • Technology services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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