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Salient complexities of engaging external consultants in information systems projects

Chipulu, Max; Thomas, Ashish; Ojiako, Udechukwu


Ashish Thomas

Udechukwu Ojiako


Although the complexities of projects literature body continues to expand, there remains some gaps in the transformation of the basic science into practice. Meanwhile, decades of adhering to outsourcing regimes mean that most organisations have inadequate Information Systems (IS) capabilities, relying instead on outside consultants to execute IS projects. However, reliance on consultants introduces its own perils, including a significant risk of exacerbating the complexities of managing the projects.

To contribute towards this important area of project management, this research aims to determine the key complexities of IS projects and how engaging consultants in them changes the salience of the complexities. Data are survey responses drawn from 146 respondents on IS projects conducted mainly in Canada and the United States. Through 3-way Multidimensional Scaling (MDS), we find that projects engaging external consultants experience more varied and stronger structural complexity and higher salience of interpersonal and organisational complexity. The results also show that such projects have higher criticality, meaning it is doubly critical to ensure complexities are actively and well managed when IS projects engage consultants.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name EURAM 2022: Leading Digital Transformation
Start Date Jun 15, 2022
End Date Jun 17, 2022
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2022
Publication Date 2022-06
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2022
Series ISSN 2466-7498
Book Title EURAM 2022: Leading Digital Transformation
ISBN 978-2-9602195-4-8
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