Exploring sustainability in cloud contract for agency relationship.

Qin Lu, Nadja Damij, Jason Whalley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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With the widespread use of cloud computing in modern business, it is more important than ever to ensure that the cloud contracts binding enterprises and cloud providers are balanced and sustainable. However, many inequitable cloud contracts in the market exist and can lead to issues that harm the sustainable partnership between enterprises and cloud providers. There is a scarcity of research examining elements that promote sustainability in cloud contracts. To address this gap, this study offers a comprehensive examination of the relationship between the two parties, and the crucial role that cloud contracts play in ensuring a sustainable partnership. By applying agency theory to evaluate the impact of four key elements on cloud contracts, this study offers unique insights into how to manage this critical aspect of modern business.

Based on a quantitative survey of 685 participants, the results are analysed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM), providing a robust and reliable understanding of the factors that promote sustainability in cloud contracts. The findings reveal that investment in information systems and the length of agency relationship are critical to the success of outcome-based cloud contracts, while task programmability has the opposite effect. Moreover, the research sheds light on the possible explanations for each element’s impact on cloud contracts. This paper offers valuable insights that can help guide business in managing this critical relationship, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the future of cloud computing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the BAM 2023
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Apr 2023
Event37th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management (BAM2023) - University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sept 20236 Sept 2023
Conference number: 37


Conference37th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management (BAM2023)
Abbreviated titleBAM2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherDriven by our vision and strategy on sustainability and continuous change, the theme for the BAM 2023 conference is “Towards Disruptive Sustainability: New Business Opportunities and Challenges”. We use the provocative term ‘Disruptive Sustainability’ purposefully. While the debate on sustainability has received great attention in the last decade, scholars and practitioners tend to agree that sustainability objectives and practices should not only help improving our environment and societies but sustainability objectives can turn into disruptive business opportunities, and offer new avenues for growth and development in the future. It is therefore evident that a sustainability agenda necessitates the development of sustainable organizations. Yet, the properties and challenges in building sustainable business models have only recently been acknowledged in the academic literature. To create the necessary radical transformation of organizations, industries, and societies, the usual approaches of corporate philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and technological process and product innovation remain insufficient.
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