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ItemTowards reframing outsourcing: a study of choices regarding processes, structures, and success: exploration into an organization's choices regarding the outsourcing process lifecycle, the configuration structures, and the nature of successCULLEN, SARA ( 2005)Pervasive adoption has made outsourcing a growing multi-billion dollar industry. The market is ever maturing, suppliers and their offerings ever expanding, and technology advancements are increasingly enabling the separation of management, delivery, and operations. Furthermore, with "offshore outsourcing" attracting increasing attention, the level of outsourcing activity seems set to grow even larger, lending a new dimension to the role of a CIO — that of service broker between internal and external service providers (Baty, 2001). This is in spite of all too frequent failures emerging in recent studies. Consistent with the self-interest arguments of agency theory and transaction cost economics, outsourcing unleashes powerful forces of organizational self-interest that can spell doom for the inexperienced outsourcing manager. Research into outsourcing has attempted to help managers achieve greater success with outsourcing; however, along with mixed success has come mixed advice. Numerous studies propose a wide range of recipes for success, but problems continue, seemingly unabated. In particular, despite over a decade of research into IT outsourcing (ITO), no comprehensive models of ITO processes, structures, or success have emerged. This research attempts to achieve a degree of unification, of what is presently a fragmented literature, by developing and testing three frameworks designed assist research and management with decision-making. Those three frameworks are as follows: (1) a process framework for ITO consisting of a four-phase "Outsourcing Lifecycle" with 54 key activities, (2) a taxonomic framework, "Configuration", for classifying different ITO structures, comprised of seven structural attributes with 27 high-level options at both the deal (individual outsourcing arrangement) and portfolio (organizational) level, and (3) a conceptual framework for measuring ITO success, with 25 goals/outcomes grouped into three categories of financial, operational, and strategic. These three frameworks were developed through careful analysis of 100 outsourcing cases from 1994 to 2003, three ITO surveys conducted in Australia during 1994 to 2001, and the literature. To explore their validity and usefulness, the frameworks were tested during 2003 and 2004 via in-depth interviews in seven large Australian organizations. The findings add further weight to the conclusions from the original 100 cases, surveys, and the prior literature: the three frameworks are important for understanding, comparing, and managing ITO arrangements. Building on these three frameworks, the primary contribution of this thesis is its demonstration that outsourcing is more about complex choices than has ever been recognized in the prior literature. Organizations contemplating outsourcing face an inestimable number of choices. The fundamental proposition of this thesis is that when guided on what choices must be made, the rationale behind the choices, and the potential issues each choice creates, management can make better decisions to achieve their desired objectives. The implication for management of this insight is that if made and managed appropriately, sound choices will enable firms to manage the extremely strong forces of organizational self-interest and help deliver benefits that outsourcing can be capable of delivering. The implication for researchers is that prior studies may have yielded inconsistent and incomplete results because researchers failed to recognize the different choices that firms face, and their importance, in fully understanding ITO.
ItemTechniques for academic timetablingMerlot, Liam ( 2005)This thesis examines two different academic timetabling problems: the Examination Timetabling problem and the Population and Class Timetabling Problem. Initially an extensive survey of academic timetabling literature is undertaken, examining those methods and algorithms that have proved useful for solving academic timetabling problems. A hybrid algorithm, combining constraint programming, simulated annealing and hill climbing, is presented as a method for solving the examination timetabling problem. This algorithm is able to solve the examination timetabling problem at the University of Melbourne, and provides good results on international benchmark data. The population and class timetabling problem is decomposed using the blocking decomposition into a series of integer programs that are all solved to optimality. A model is presented for a simplified version of the class blocking and population problem which solves this problem to optimality without further decomposition. The model is expanded to solve this problem faced by Xavier College, an Australian secondary school. Two separate overlapping blocking schemes are used to allow the problem for different year levels to be solved simultaneously. Two more integer programs allocate to sessions the lessons of the blocks and a subset of the classes from the school. When combined these three stages produce a feasible timetable for Xavier College in a fraction of the time it takes using the current methodology.
ItemInformation technology outsourcing revisited: success factors and risksRouse, Anne C. ( 2002)This thesis investigates success factors, risks and trade offs in Information Technology (IT) outsourcing arrangements, and also examines the impact of certain recommended practices on outsourcing success. Four research components contribute to the investigation: 1) a critical review of ten years' literature on IT outsourcing, paying particular attention to the evidence for success rates and the impact of practices on IT outsourcing success; 2) statistical analysis of a survey of government and non-government organisations (n = 240) taken from the largest 1000 organisations in Australia; 3) a detailed case study into the Australian Federal Government's "Whole of Government IT Infrastructure Outsourcing Initiative" and 4) qualitative analysis of 16 focus groups involving vendor and purchaser informants. Using confirmatory factor analysis on the survey data, the study validated seven dimensions of IT outsourcing success proposed in the literature. Only two of these factors had been rated positively by most survey respondents, and only a minority of respondents had rated the other five success dimensions positively. Further statistical investigations looked at the relationship between various recommended practices in IT outsourcing and certain success measures, and at relationships between success measures. Particular attention was paid to the notion of selective outsourcing, a notion that has received much attention in the literature and that is explored further in the case study of the Federal Government initiative. The focus group analysis enabled the teasing out of other factors, not easily identified in the other research. Drawing on all four research components, the thesis proposes that "information impactedness" associated with post-Internet technologies and skills shortages, and unacknowledged inherent trade-offs, contribute to generally poor risks and returns for IT outsourcing. The thesis concludes with recommendations for decision-makers.
ItemThe adoption of advanced mobile commerce services by individuals: investigating the impact of the interaction between the consumer and the mobile service providerAlHinai, Yousuf Salim (The University of Melbourne, 2009)This research investigates the impact of the interaction between the consumer and mobile service provider on the adoption of advanced mobile commerce services by existing consumers of mobile technology. These factors include: 1) Perceived Relationship Quality (PRQ), which is the consumer’s evaluation of the quality of his/her relationship with the mobile service provider, and 2) Perceived Value of the Adoption Incentive (PVI), which is the consumer’s evaluation of the value of incentives that are offered by the service provider to entice him/her to adopt the mobile service. The influence of these factors on consumer attitudes and intentions towards adopting mobile commerce services is studied and compared with three other well-known adoption factors including perceived usefulness, ease of use and the subjective norm. This study was undertaken in three parts. Firstly, a conceptual study was conducted to investigate and analyse the existing literature on consumer adoption of mobile commerce services. This phase started with a general review of the existing studies using a novel model: the Entities-Interactions Framework, EIF. The EIF explains adoption behaviour in terms of interactions between the consumer and the other entities including the mobile service, the service provider and the social system. This framework was used to analyse the extent to which important adoption factors have been covered by past research and therefore identify the research questions. The conceptual study resulted in the development of a research model and relevant hypotheses. Secondly, a large-scale questionnaire survey was conducted to test the research model and the proposed hypotheses. This part of the research helped give a broad picture of the influence of consumer-service provider factors on consumer adoption of mobile commerce services. Thirdly, face-to-face interviews with mobile phones users were conducted in order to validate the survey results and provide an understanding of the mechanisms that control the impact of the investigated factors. The research found that PRQ and PVI have an important influence on the attitude and intention of existing mobile phone users towards accepting and using advanced mobile commerce services. Furthermore, the research found that these newly introduced factors are more influential on consumer adoption perceptions than other well-established factors. The study enriches our understanding of technology adoption by individuals because it explains why an existing user of a technology, such as mobile technology, will or will not adopt advanced versions of that technology. The findings affirm that in the context of communication technologies, which are interactive by nature, understanding the interaction between consumers and service providers is a key to understanding the progressive adoption by consumers of advanced forms of these technologies. The thesis provides practitioners (particularly mobile service providers) with a better understanding of the impact and implication of their interaction with consumers on consumers’ acceptance and use of mobile services. The study emphasises the importance of incorporating this understanding throughout the mobile service provision process, starting from the conceptualisation of the service to the actual provision of the service to the market. The study also offers a novel comprehension of how to view each mobile service offer as a consequence of the previous offer and a precedent of the next in order to enhance consumer adoption of mobile service in the short and long runs.