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Journal articles (2019), Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 20 (7), pp. 986-1022

Constraining Opportunism in Information Systems Consulting: A Three Nation Examination

WATSON R., DAWSON G., BOUDREAU M-C., LI Yan , AL-JABRI I., ZHANG H.

Opportunism is often present in professional services, such as IS consulting, and organizations adopt various mechanisms to constrain it. Opportunism is prevalent in many societies, if not all, yet, researchers have generally ignored (1) the efficacy of constraint mechanisms for different circumstances and (2) the impact of national differences. This study examines the relative effectiveness of different constraint mechanisms for IS consultants in China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, based on different levels of information asymmetry, tacit, and explicit knowledge. While there is support in all countries for the salience of these dimensions, there are distinctions in the effectiveness of different constraints between the countries. Generally, consulting clients in the United States believe that social constraints are more effective, while those in China and Saudi Arabia favor legal constraints. The findings suggest that these distinctions are a result of differences in the legal systems and the religious foundations for social norm formation. Link to the article

WATSON, R., DAWSON, G., BOUDREAU, M.C., LI, Y., AL-JABRI, I. and ZHANG, H. (2019). Constraining Opportunism in Information Systems Consulting: A Three Nation Examination. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 20(7), pp. 986-1022.