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Process-oriented taxonomy of BPOs: an exploratory study

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Purpose ‐ This paper sets out to classify business process outsourcing (BPO), linking it to service level agreement (SLA) design needs. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper develops a framework based on prior literature to classify BPOs and illustrates it with field research of Indian vendors. Findings ‐ The paper identifies criticality and complexity as the dimensions of classification and explicates the role of SLAs along these dimensions. Research limitations/implications ‐ This is an exploratory research involving four vendors. A larger study is needed to strengthen/enrich the proposed framework, and make the findings more conclusive. Practical implications ‐ The taxonomy aids BPO industry practitioners in understanding the characteristics of different processes and the control issues arising therein. It also helps analysts to make more qualified generalizations within the BPO industry. Originality/value ‐ The paper addresses a dearth of literature on BPOs, especially from a vendor perspective. The taxonomy serves to position future work in this fast-growing field of research.
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Keywords: India; Outsourcing; Service levels

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 31, 2007

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