this emerging need. Our findings are
consistent with broader calls from
education scholars who have advocated (in response to recent waves of
technological change) emphasizing
“softer” skills (such as complex communication) 14 in the U.S. educational
system; for example, educators could
interweave existing material in the
IT curriculum with projects that promote teamwork, negotiation, and presentation skills.
In the future, this area of research
would benefit from improved offshoring data, including more fine-grain
measures of the task content of individual jobs. Data at the task level
would allow researchers to test more
nuanced models of which attributes
make a job vulnerable to offshoring
(such as those considering the modularity, codifiability, or information intensity of a worker’s task set). These
tests would also provide insight into
how jobs and educational programs
can be designed so U.S.-based workers maximize the value they provide
to the global economy. Furthermore,
although our survey data was unique
because it allowed us to capture fine-grain outcomes, a limitation of the
data was its reliance on self-reported
responses from employees and hiring managers that might be subject to
bias. Evidence from other data sources could therefore be useful in validating these results.
Finally, although our study focused
on job displacement, offshoring may
also affect workers through reduced
wages. A more comprehensive understanding of the full effects of offshoring on IT workers and the demand for
particular skills could therefore be
provided through analyses of job displacement and wage effects.
We thank Peter Cappelli, Eric Clemons, Lori Rosenkopf, and three anonymous reviewers for their guidance and
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Prasanna B. Tambe ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an
assistant professor of information, operations, and
management sciences in the stern school of business,
new york university, new york.
Lorin M. hitt ( email@example.com) is the class
of 1942 Professor of operations and information
Management in the wharton school, university of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.