Research Methodology

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  • Topic: Business process outsourcing, Outsourcing, Offshoring
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  • Published : November 17, 2005
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Research Proposal
Business Process Outsourcing
South Africa

Prepare For:
Dr. Christel Troskie-de Bruin
MBA program Lecturer in Research Methodology
University of Stellenbosch

Prepared by:
Roelof Louw
Student Number: 10992510

11 July 2005

Table of Contents

1Introduction and Background1
2Definition of Research Problem2
3Preliminary Literature Review2
4Research Design and Method4
6Framework for Proposed Study6
7Provisional List of Sources6
8Date of Completion7

1Introduction and Background
In the nineties corporations realised that due to economic and business pressures, corporations need to focus on core business activities. In addition rapid technology advances rendered the provision of IT services free from the business location. The introduction of concepts such as "location-less" and "distances-less" provision of IT services gave rise to an increasing demand for outsourced IT services (Bierce, Spohr and Shab, 2004:5). These technology advances also provided the opportunity to exploit the benefits of offshore outsourcing.

Initially, IT Infrastructure Outsourcing and then later Application Outsourcing were implemented to reduce operational costs and focus on core business. Today Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the next discipline many multi-national corporations are embarking on. BPO include functions such as human resource services, financial services, accounting and reporting, billing, procurement, call center management, credit services and customer relationship management. This research will focus on call center management function of BPO.

Initially, one of the main drivers for foreign BPO was cost savings mainly due to currency market fluctuations as well as associated lower labour wages. The benefit from a foreign destination BPO agreement can account for cost savings of 20% to 65% (Rayn 2003:1) depending on the country from where BPO services are sourced.

South Africa is already recognised as one of the most favourite Business Process Outsourcing destinations in Africa as South Africa has already proven to have the capacity and capability in the most important factors when considering a BPO initiative. The decision to embark on Business Process Outsourcing include consideration of the factors such as cultural similarities, level of technological development, IT infrastructure capability, government stability and the workforce.

This research will determine the most pertinent domestic factors in the South African BPO market to secure long term BPO service contracts with multi-national corporations in foreign countries. This research will attempt to answer the question: •What are the key differentiators to become a preferred destination in the BPO marketplace with specific reference to call center management? •Which support structures exists to foster these key differentiators within the South African infrastructure, legal, political and economic domains?

2 Definition of Research Problem
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is today the most relevant topic within the context of offshore outsourcing. Specific countries like South Africa are targeted by multi-national corporations of major economies such as America and Europe to establish such offshore BPO agreements where the most cost benefit can be realised and the most effective BPO solutions can be provided.

The aim of this research is to identify the key differentiators within the South African context to foster an attractive Business Process Outsourcing environment with specific reference to call center management. Once the key differentiators are identified this research will identify and recommend the support structures that South African organisations should provide within the infrastructure, legal, political and economic domains to foster long term BPO agreements.

The main premise is that the offshore outsourcing market in South Africa was mainly the result...
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