Profiling outsourcers of professional services - An exploratory study on small and medium-sized enterprises

Aleksandre Asatiani, Esko Penttinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional

1 Citation (Scopus)


In addition to large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increasingly engage in business process outsourcing (BPO) of professional services as they delegate routine processes such as accounting, recruitment and law to outsourcing service providers. In this study, we explore the outsourcing profiles of SMEs and use those profiles to generate four research propositions. Our main finding is that outsourcers are not all the same; the results of the clustering analysis reveal that the three clusters that we identified differ in terms of their motivation to outsource business processes. We find that those companies with low levels of outsourcing primarily seek quality improvements, assurance and external expertise, whereas, those companies with high levels of outsourcing primarily seek cost reductions and the ability to focus on core competences. Cloud use, on the other hand, is primarily associated with a high level of disaggregation of the service. In other words, if the company's strategy is to selectively choose the tasks to be outsourced, in a granular way, then it needs to employ cloud-based information systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2016
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 12 Jun 201615 Jun 2016
Conference number: 24


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleECIS 2016
Internet address


  • Accounting
  • Accounting information systems
  • BPO
  • Cloud computing
  • Cluster analysis
  • Financial administration
  • Outsourcing
  • Professional services

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