IT offshoring has become an accepted strategy for many companies, although the inherent risks-such as language and cultural differences-make the communication, coordination, and collaboration processes between clients and vendors more challenging. In this exploratory work, we analyze the usage of instant messenger (IM) to bridge culturally based power distance in offshore-outsourced software development (OOSD) projects. We employed the case study method with a German-Indian partnership in order to collect qualitative data so as to analyze the prevalent usage of IM in OOSD projects. The empirical data was further analyzed through the lens of theoretical concepts in IS, which provided a sound explanation regarding the usage of IM in OOSD projects. These concepts include virtual teams, communication and media selection, cultural distance, and early warning signs. Even though the project itself was considered a failure, we were able to obtain valuable research data.
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