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This paper employs the lens of the resource-based view (RBV) to investigate how firms create competitive advantages through IS outsourcing arrangements. The RBV framework is used to explore how a firm adds value and reaps benefits from IS outsourcing arrangements. The primary finding is that in the process of value creation, the 'absorption' of the managerial and technical capabilities of external vendors is critical. When the client firm is able to absorb and integrate the IT capabilities of outsourcing vendors, these absorbed capabilities in turn become the source of IT competence and competitive advantages vis-a-vis the competition.