Large international corporations commonly engage in IT outsourcing. However, the process of evaluating, selecting, and subsequently contracting out or selling the organization's IT assets, people, and/or activities to a third-party supplier creates the possibility of a "Winner's Curse." This occurs when the supplier over-promises on what can be delivered for the contract price. This article presents a longitudinal outsourcing case study that explicates the often abstruse Winner's Curse, its effect on post-contract management and the relationship, and how it was alleviated by agreeing to mutually renegotiate the terms of the deal. Building on auction and IT outsourcing theory, the article provides both a model of IT outsourcing processes and a Winner's Curse typology for understanding IT outsourcing ventures. To avoid the experience of relational trauma as a consequence of a Winner's Curse, this article identifies six lessons that client and supplier companies should consider before signing IT outsourcing deals.
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