Erran Carmel
Professor. Information Technology Department. Kogod School of Business, American University. Washington DC, USA.

Professor Carmel teaches Information Technology (I.T.). He researches the globalization of technology work: crowdsourcing, impact sourcing, global software teams, offshore outsourcing, He also leads the business school’s  “Business in the Capital” initiative to play a larger role in regional businesses and in regional policy.

In 2014-2016 Carmel was interim Dean of the Kogod School of Business. Carmel led the launching of two online programs, improved the schools rankings, launched two new centers, and raised more than 6 million dollars.

Carmel is the author of three books. In 2011 he completed his 3rd book. This one is about the special issues that time zone separation imposes on global coordination of work. “I’m Working While They’re Sleeping: Time Zone Separation Challenges and Solutions” is co-authored with his colleague Alberto Espinosa.  Carmel’s 1999 book "Global Software Teams" was the first on this topic and is considered a landmark in the field, helping many organizations take their first steps into distributed tech work. His second book "Offshoring Information Technology" came out in 2005 and became popular as outsourcing began to be taught in business schools around the world.

He has written over 100 articles, reports, and manuscripts. He consults and speaks to industry and professional groups. Here is a video of a 2013 talk at IESE (Barcelona) on global coordination across time zones. He also writes a Blog.

He is a tenured full Professor at the Information Technology department, Kogod School of Business at American University. In the 1990s he co-founded and led the program in Management of Global Information Technology. In 2005-2008 he was department Chair. In 2009 he was awarded the International Business Professorship and in 2012 he was named Kogod UPS Scholar. He has been a Visiting Professor at Haifa University (Israel), University College Dublin (Ireland), and at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile). In 2008 he was awarded the Orkand Endowed Chaired Professor at the University of Maryland University College. 

He received his Ph.D., in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona; his MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Co-authored with J. Alberto Espinosa @2011

Distance is dead. Time zones are not.

When millions of knowledge workers are coordinating daily with partners around the globe, the key coordination challenge is time zone separation. Yet many overlook the ways time zones can influence their productivity. The authors distill more than a decade of research to address the time zone challenges in approachable and  practical prose with cases, stories, and actionable items. Discover why timeshifting is the key solution for time zone challenged teams. Recognize why scattertime may be the work mode of the future. Learn why both Follow-the-Sun and Round-the-Clock can leverage time zones but in very different ways. Understand how to think strategically–not just tactically—about time zones.  He spoke about this topic at TEDx (watch) and was interviewed about this on Globalist Radio (listen). 

Offshoring Information Technology: Sourcing and Outsourcing to a Global Workforce
Co-authored with Paul Tjia @2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The decision to source software development to an overseas firm (offshoring) is looked at frequently in simple economic terms - it's cheaper, and skilled labor is easier to find. In practice, however, offshoring is fraught with difficulties. As well as the considerable challenge of controlling projects at a distance, there are differences in culture, language, business methods, politics, and many other issues to contend with. This book explains how to put offshoring into practice, avoid the pitfalls, and develop effective working relationships. See book review in Computerworld.
Global Software Teams: Collaborating Across Borders and Time Zones
Publisher: Prentice Hall
A pioneering book on virtual teaming and global software development that has been cited hundreds of times in studies, used in dozens of classes around the world, used as a guidebook by managers in dozens of technology companies, and used as a quick primer by technocrats learning about how ICTs can make a difference to their emerging nations.

New Global Sourcing Models and Approaches

Tech Entrepreneurship Policy 

Emergence of software industries around the world

Offshore Sourcing of IT Work

Global Teams and the Challenge of Time Zone Separation

Other Topics

Cases for Teaching

  • Ayudarum: an Austrian crowdsourcing company in the Startup Chile accelerator program. Full Case.  This teaching mini-case (3000 words) is about a startup that is building a crowdsourcing platform focusing on paid work for students. The key dilemmas have to do with growing the user community, national market entry, labor markets, and the role of the entrepreneurial accelerator. The case takes place in 2013. 
  • Lifebushido: The Challenge of the Microsourcing Labor Markets Full Case - This is a short teaching case about a small American firm that is a platform (an intermediary) in the emerging microsourcing / human-cloud global marketplace for services. Lifebushido provides virtual assistants that specialize in the real estate brokerage market. 2011.
  • Healthware S.p.A. From An Underdeveloped Region Of Italy - Can It Be A Global Firm? Full Case - This is a short teaching case about an Italian e-health firm dealing with the dilemma of international growth from an unconventional location. 2009.
  • "PanGenesis: A Creative Costa Rican Approach to the Persistent IT Labor Crunch." . Full Case - This case is about a Costa Rican IT Services firm exploring new workforce models to overcome the tight IT labor markets. 2007.
  • "Finding a niche in the global software marketplace: The case of the Peruvian firm LOLIMSA, Technologias para Salud." Full Case - This is a short teaching case about a Peruvian software product firm that is exporting niche software products. 2005.
  • "Sheen Software Systems Considers China for Offshore I.T. Outsourcing." Full Case - This is a short teaching case about a small American firm considering offshore work. 2003.


  • Management Information Systems / Information & Technology (MBA core course)
  • The Edge of IT (undergraduate core course)
  • A Survey of Blockchain
  • Future & Foresight. This is one of the few futures courses in any business school. Also taught as a core undergraduate class. 
  • Outsourcing & Offshoring. Carmel was one of the first in the world to teach a university class on offshoring/outsourcing (first in Ireland in 2005 and later at American University in 2005 and continuing for the next 6 years).
  • Nations, Policy, and Information Technology. This was Carmel’s signature course for many years. In the early years of the internet it was a popular public database of ~100 country studies titled "The Landscape of Information Technology" See a short article describing this class is in Journal of IT Education.    Here is a snapshot of the repository on Wayback.
  • International Electronic Commerce. When the internet enabled commerce, Carmel was one of the first to teach a class on the topic in early 1996.  
  • Global Collaborative Technology / Virtual Teams.
  • Economics of Information Goods
  • Emerging Technologies


Selected seminars, workshops, talks, keynotes...

  • Brandeis University: Innovation in Israel   Keynote: Innovation in Israel--A Thoughtful Overview,  April 2019
  • Meridian International Center in Washington D.C. invited keynote on Capital City Economies, April 2019

  • BNU-AU Business in the Capital conference in Beijing panelist on Amazon HQ2, Nov. 2018.
  • SIM APC – Society for Information Management Advanced Practices Council  Philadelphia, USA Invited  talk: Governance of Enterprise Crowdsourcing September 2015 
  • ICIS – WG 9.1Fort Worth Texas  Keynote:  Time Zones and Timeshifting: What we know … and what we don’t know,    December  2015  
  •  Indiana University, School of Information.  Bloomington  Invited lecture: Working Across Time Zones  December  2014
  • Israel Association of Information Systems Annual conference  Tel Aviv  Invited Keynote: teaching future and foresight  June 2014
  • University College Dublin, Smurfit Business School  Dublin, Ireland  Invited talk: Enterprise Crowdsourcing in Brazil  April 2014
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul  Porto Alegre , Brazil  Invited talk: Enterprise Crowdsourcing in Brazil  April 2014
  • Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez  Santiago, Invited seminar:   Building social capital at Startup Chile    May 2013
  • Startup Chile academic day  Santiago  Invited: Building social capital at Startup Chile  March 2013

  • Erasmus University (Rotterdam, Netherlands). Invited seminar on The impact of collaboration across time zones on the New World of Work, January 2013.

  • IESE Business School (Barcelona). Invited lecture on the 10 Things Every Manager Needs to Know About Working Across Time Zones, January 2013.
  • 3rd sourcing workshop (Ca' Foscari University Venice, Italia). Keynote on impact sourcing September, 2012.
  • National Science Foundation workshop on global engineering (Arlington, Virginia, USA). Invited talk on: Follow the sun and other fables of global work, May, 2012.
  • Inauguration in global software engineering (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands). Keynote: Ten Things Software Engineers Need To Know About Time Zones.December, 2011.
  • PMI Brazil (Porto Alegre, Brazil). Keynote: The 10 Things Every Project Manager Needs To Know About Time Zones. September, 2011.
  • Infosys Connect 2011 (Las Vegas). Panelist: Challenges in Distributed Software Development, August, 2011
  • TEDx  (Georgetown University, Washington D.C.).  The Internet and time zones. March, 2011
  • Governance delle ralazioni di outsourcing (Universita degli Studi di Roma). Invited keynote on: Microsourcing: The next sourcing frontier. March, 2011.
  • Warwick Business School (University of Warwick. England). Seminar on The Impact Of Time Zone Differences in the Global IT Industry December  2010
  • Center for Science & Tech Policy (George Mason University, USA). Seminar on The Landscape of Offshoring and the Role of Time Zone Differences in the Global IT Industry, October 2010
  • International Conference on Global Software Engineering, ICGSE  (New Jersey, USA). Workshop on Implementing Agile Software Development across Time Zones,  August 2010.
  • Pontifícia Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) / Technopuc ( Porto Alegre, Brazil) Seminar on Brazil's position in coordination across time zones, May 2010.
  • INFORTE workshop (Jyvaskyla, Finland) on Global software development and offshoring, speaker on two topics: Coordination across time zones and on The landscape of nations and offshoring; August, 2009.
  • SAP Research Labs-Israel Tel Aviv, Workshop leader on Managing, coordinating, and communicating in a distributed environment, Feb, 2009
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Salerno, Managing Outsourcing Relationships and New Governance Models. Salerno, Italy; Invited speaker on Micro-sourcing, Multi-sourcing and Governance. Oct. 2008.
  • 6th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic Seminar, Barbados, Invited speaker on Offshoring - implications for the Caribbean, October, 2008.
  • Israel Business @60. Co-chair of this two-day conference at American University. Also chaired the panel on Technology, Innovation, and Start-Ups. March 2008.
  • International Conference on Global Software Engineering Munich, Germany, keynote speaker on Reflections on a Decade of Studying Global Software Engineering; August 2007.
  • International Offshoring & Nearshoring Symposium. Vienna , Austria , invited speaker on Distance Still Matters: Nearshoring & Time Differences, June 2007.
  • Costa Rica Technology Insight 2007, San Jose , Costa Rica , invited speaker on Nearshoring 2.0, March, 2007.
  • NYU-IBM Workshop on Global Sourcing, New York , invited speaker on The Stubborn Problem of Coordination Across Time Zones, January, 2007.
  • The Norwegian Network on ICT and Development : Annual workshop at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim , Norway , invited keynote on Offshoring to Developing Nations: Current landscape & policy questions, Nov 2006.
  • Jiaotong University, Beijing, invited seminar on Configurations of Global Software Development. May 2006.
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, invited talk on Israeli High-tech vs. Indian high-tech. Apr 2006.
  • Global Services Conference (CMP Inc.), sourcing strategies, New York City, panelist on "How Technology Is Flattening Global Business" 2006.
  • International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Invited keynote on Narratives that Software Nations Tell Themselves Cross Cultural Research in Information Systems workshop, Las Vegas, 2005.
  • 4th International Peruvian Software Industry Congress, Invited keynote on Offshoring, Software Exports and the Place of Peru,  2005.
  • Infosys, Bangalore, India. Seminar as Visiting Research Fellow on the topic "Time Separation at Infosys,"  2005.
  • IBM Research Lab New Delhi , India. Invited seminar on Distributed Software Teams: Distance Matters,  2005.
  • GPI Offshore Seminar Vught , Netherlands. Invited speaker on Distance matters in offshoring,  2005.
  • University of Limerick , ISERC: Irish Software Engineering Research Consortium  Limerick , Ireland . Invited colloquium keynote on Distance Matters, 2005.
  • London Business School, England . Invited speaker at the Emerging Markets Seminar Series, on the topic National Software Myths, 2005.
  •  International Developers Opportunities:conference on Brazilian software industry strategies, invited keynote speaker on the topic of Offshoring, Software Exports and the Place of Brazil; Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2004.
  • Russian Outsourcing Software Summit , invited speaker on The Views On Offshore Outsourcing From Inside Washington D.C.: The Politicians, The Press, The Public, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2004.
  • Society for Information Management, Offshore Outsourcing. Virginia, 2004.
  • Global Intellectual Property Project, workshop on "Patenting Business Methods: is the US patent system bad for Business?" at American University, 2003.
  • Romanian International Outsourcing Conference, Keynote speaker, The Global Picture of Software and Services Outsourcing Bucharest, Romania, 2003.
  • Russian Software Outsourcing Summit, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2002.
  • The Social Implications of Computers in Developing Nations Conference, IFIP working group 9.4; Bangalore, India,  2002.
  • Symposium on Trends in Offshore Outsourcing (University of Manchester, England) 2001.
  • University of Victoria, Canada. Lansdowne distinguished lecturer, 2001.
  • Workshop on Global Software Outsourcing. Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fur Sozialforschung, Berlin, 2001.

Kogod Building
TEL: +1 202-885-1928
Kogod Building
TEL: +1 202-885-1928