chapter  8
13 Pages

Cultural Rhetoric in Onshore/Offshore Project Work

How Swedish IT Consultants Talk About ‘the Indian Team’ and What This Means in Terms of Power
WithHelena Fornstedt

Through 13 interviews, this chapter describes the way in which Swedish ‘onshore’ IT consultants construct the identity of both themselves and their Indian ‘offshore’ colleagues. The chapter highlight how a rhetoric of cultural difference can function as a deflective shield hiding intersections of other explanations. The intersections hiding behind the notion of ‘culture’ in this case were closely tied to power and identified as 1) a construction of ‘the Swedish way of work’ as superior, 2) the Indian team being ‘dehumanized’ and organized as “a machine”, evaluated with quantitative performance measurements, 3) the Swedes’ power proximity as well as 4) the Indian site working with poorer technical infrastructure.