Knowledge transfer in offshore outsourcing: A case study of Japanese and vietnamese software companies

Nguyen Thu Huong, Umemoto Katsuhiro, Dam Hieu Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the knowledge transfer process in offshore outsourcing. The focus is a case study of software offshore outsourcing from Japan to Vietnam. Initial results confirm that willingness to cooperate and good impressions facilitate the knowledge transfer process. In addition, communication barriers, cultural differences, lack of equivalence in individual competence, and lack of common rules slow down the transfer process. The study also identifies the Bridge System Engineer (Bridge SE)-a type of coordinator who mediates and enhances the relationship between Japanese clients and Vietnamese service providers. Employing a Bridge SE is an effective way to fill the communication gap, the cultural gap, and generally improve the business relationship. Bridge SEs use their background of higher education and long-term residence in Japan to give advice to Vietnamese software teams on Japanese cultural characteristics, such as the apology culture and the separation between work and private time. In other situations, Bridge SEs use their IT background and communication skills to verify and adjust communication contents before information is sent from one side to another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Global Information Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridge SE
  • Communication
  • Intercultural management
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Offshoring
  • Outsourcing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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