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30+ years of research and practice of outsourcing – Exploring the past and anticipating the future

Published on Jun 1, 2009in Journal of International Management 2.83
· DOI :10.1016/j.intman.2008.07.002
Jussi Hätönen4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UTU: University of Turku),
Taina Eriksson5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UTU: University of Turku)
Outsourcing is a phenomenon that as a practice originated in the 1950s, but it was not until the 1980s when the strategy became widely adopted in organizations. Since then, the strategy has evolved from a strictly cost focused approach towards more cooperative nature, in which cost is only one, often secondary, decision-making criterion. In the development of the strategy, three broad and somewhat overlapping, yet distinct phases can be identified: the era of the Big Bang, the era of the Bandwagon, and the era of Barrierless Organizations. This paper illustrates that the evolution of the practice has caused several contradictions among researchers, as well as led to the situation where the theoretical background of the phenomenon has recently become much richer. Through examining existing research, this paper intends to identify the development of outsourcing strategy from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective from its birth up to today. In addition, through providing insights from managers in the information technology industry, this paper aims at providing a glimpse from the future - that is - what may be the future directions and research issues in this complex phenomenon?
  • References (128)
  • Citations (229)
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Madeleine Järsjö1
Estimated H-index: 1
Sophie Schanneberg1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 2 AuthorsPeter Kraljic1
Estimated H-index: 1
Kraljic inleder med att beskriva hur chefer kan upptacka svagheter i deras inkopsprocesser samt hur de kan motverka detta. Den globala marknaden som idag existerar dar outsourcing, joint-ventures och integrerade IT-system ar allt vanligare behover foretagen komma till ratta med risker och komplexitet. En okad konkurrens, teknologiutvecklingen, en snabb foranderlig varld samt osakra leveransrelationer gor att man behover gora inkop till en mer strategisk funktion. Det ar darfor nodvandigt att byt...
Published on Jan 1, 2011
Ely Dahan15
Estimated H-index: 15
John R. Hauser45
Estimated H-index: 45
Barton Weitz1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on Jul 1, 2007in Industry and Innovation 3.16
Peter Maskell27
Estimated H-index: 27
(CBS: Copenhagen Business School),
Torben Pedersen45
Estimated H-index: 45
(CBS: Copenhagen Business School)
+ 1 AuthorsJens Dick-Nielsen6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CBS: Copenhagen Business School)
A corporation's offshore outsourcing may be seen as the result of a discrete, strategic decision taken in response to an increasing pressure from worldwide competition. However, empirical evidence of a representative cross-sector sample of international Danish firms indicates that offshore sourcing in low-cost countries is best described as a learning-by-doing process in which the offshore outsourcing of a corporation goes through a sequence of stages towards sourcing for innovation. Initially, ...
Taina Paju1
Estimated H-index: 1
ABSTRACT Developments driving RD Streeten 1975). The discussion still continues quite lively actually, as the range of operations that have been moved abroad has widened beyond manufacturing to also include activities involving customer contacts (e.g. call centres) and knowledge-intensive activities (e.g. research and development (RD especially if the activities are outsourced. There are not many statistics available on R&D offshore outsourcing, since the statistical data is very difficult to co...
Published on Mar 1, 2007in Journal of International Management 2.83
Ben L. Kedia22
Estimated H-index: 22
(U of M: University of Memphis),
Somnath Lahiri15
Estimated H-index: 15
(U of M: University of Memphis)
The business landscape is currently witnessing widespread migration of service functions from developed nations like the U.S to several foreign destinations as India, China, Ireland, Philippines etc. This happens as more and more firms engage in international outsourcing of services (IOS) to survive in today's highly competitive business environment. Despite increase in IOS, the nature of partnerships involved between clients and their overseas providers have not received adequate attention in t...
Published on Mar 1, 2007in Journal of International Management 2.83
Kraiwinee Bunyaratavej8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Wesley College),
Eugene D. Hahn15
Estimated H-index: 15
(SU: Salisbury University),
Jonathan P. Doh41
Estimated H-index: 41
(Villanova University)
Conventional wisdom suggests that firms engage in international offshoring of services primarily to reduce wage costs associated with a given service activity. Drawing on international business research on the costs of doing business abroad (CODBA), liability of foreignness (LOF), and institutional theory, we investigate the factors that contribute to the location choices for services offshoring activity, including wage differentials between the home and host countries. We find that consistent w...
Published on Feb 13, 2007in Business Process Management Journal
Arjun K. Pai1
Estimated H-index: 1
('QUB': Queen's University Belfast),
Subhajit Basu2
Estimated H-index: 2
('QUB': Queen's University Belfast)
Purpose – Offshore outsourcing of non‐core business process has rapidly evolved as a ubiquitous organisational phenomenon. However, failure to follow a clear, systematic and effective outsourcing strategy to evaluate threats, uncertainties and numerous imponderables can cause global enterprise businesses major setbacks. The reasons for such setback could be largely due to lack of core competency, careful legal planning and due diligence to operating models associated with an outsourcing initiati...
Published on Jan 1, 2007in Journal of Marketing 7.82
Stephen J. Carson11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UofU: University of Utah)
Abstract The author investigates the impact of client control on supplier task performance in the burgeoning area of outsourced new product development. In relationships in which the outsourced task requires a high degree of creativity on the part of the supplier, ex ante contractual control is shown to increase supplier performance. In contrast, ex post client control is shown to reduce supplier performance, though certain highly skilled clients can overcome this effect. Behaviorally, clients e...
Published on Jan 1, 2007
Rudolf R. Sinkovics35
Estimated H-index: 35
Mo Yamin17
Estimated H-index: 17
Introduction PART ONE: NETWORKS AND SUBSIDIARIES Networks: A New Paradigm in International Business History? M.Casson Entrepreneurship Orientation F.Ciabuschi M.Forsgren The Role of Sales Subsidiary in MNC Innovativeness J.Lindqvist, K.Blomqvist& S.Saarenketo PART TWO: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSES,LOCAL MARKET INTERACTIONS AND IMPACTS Institutional Influences on Global Marketing Strategy F.Van Eenennaam C.M.L.Janssen& K.D.Brouthers Service Multinationals and Forward Linkages With Client Firms: The C...
Published on Sep 1, 2006in Supply Chain Management 4.30
Luitzen de Boer15
Estimated H-index: 15
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology),
Juan Gaytan2
Estimated H-index: 2
Pilar Arroyo2
Estimated H-index: 2
Purpose – To develop a prescriptive model that provides effective guidance in the early stages of outsourcing processes, while taking into the decision‐makers' bounded rationality.Design/methodology/approach – Provides an overview of existing prescriptive decision models for outsourcing based on literature review. Contrasts these models with empirical accounts of outsourcing including two case‐studies of outsourcing of logistics activities. Discusses and explains discrepancies from the point of ...
Cited By229
Published on Mar 1, 2018in Journal of Business Research 4.03
Filippo Albertoni2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Polytechnic University of Milan),
Stefano Elia9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Polytechnic University of Milan),
Lucia Piscitello17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Polytechnic University of Milan)
Abstract Experience, meant as the repetition of the same action, is considered a predictor of the entry mode choice in foreign markets because it allows reducing uncertainty. However, repetition does not necessarily increase the expected performance, depending on the learning stemming from previous experiences. Focusing on offshoring decisions, namely the choice between captive and outsourcing entry mode, we distinguish between the inertial repetition of routines vs. the mindful repetition of pr...
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Journal of Business Research 4.03
Liza Howe-Walsh5
Estimated H-index: 5
Sarah Louise Turnbull4
Estimated H-index: 4
Pawan Budhwar46
Estimated H-index: 46
(Aston University)
Abstract In a globally competitive market many organisations increasingly have challenges sourcing, developing and maintaining the skills they need to compete effectively. This study examines the less researched aspect of outsourcing from an emerging economy to a developed country. We examine why and how firms outsource advertising creativity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Based on the resource base view (RBV), using in-depth interviews with ‘elite’ senior advertising executives, we examine ...
Published on Sep 14, 2018in International Journal of Production Research 3.20
Fei Lv1
Estimated H-index: 1
(ZUEL: Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)
This paper considers a supply chain in which two competing heterogeneous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) outsource production to a common contract manufacturer (CM) that possesses private cost information. Along with production outsourcing, the OEMs can either purchase components by themselves and only assign the production tasks to the CM (Consignment), or delegate both the procurement and production tasks to the CM (Turnkey). The main question we address is whether the OEMs should adop...
Published on Jul 3, 2019in International Journal of Production Research 3.20
Alessio Ishizaka23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of Portsmouth),
Arijit Bhattacharya15
Estimated H-index: 15
(UEA: University of East Anglia)
+ 2 AuthorsVijay Pereira9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Khalifa University)
Published on Sep 8, 2018in International Journal of Production Research 3.20
Carsten Hansen1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Cranfield University),
Carlos Mena16
Estimated H-index: 16
(PSU: Portland State University),
Emel Aktas14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Cranfield University)
Published on Oct 7, 2018in International Journal of Production Research 3.20
Kulwant S. Pawar20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Nottingham),
Fahian Huq4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Manchester)
+ 1 AuthorsJanat Shah13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Indian Institute of Management Udaipur)
Outsourcing research has recognised that selecting the right offshore supplier (outsourcee) in low-cost distant developing countries is complex, but central to outsourcing success. More specifically, the combination of outsourcee contextual internal factors (e.g. capabilities) with outsourced-to country contextual external factors (e.g. political, legal, economic, socio-cultural) as two fundamental and interconnected decisions firms make when outsourcing remains an underexplored research gap. Th...
Published on Jul 1, 2019in Economic Inquiry 1.26
Chifeng Dai (UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), Dongsoo Shin6
Estimated H-index: 6
Published on Sep 18, 2018in The Accounting Review 4.56
Zahn Bozanic8
Estimated H-index: 8
(OSU: Ohio State University),
Preeti Choudhary5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UA: University of Arizona),
Kenneth J. Merkley6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Cornell University)
We examine whether securities lawyers involved in SEC comment letter inquiries act as client advocates by resisting disclosure changes or as gatekeepers by encouraging disclosure transparency. Consistent with an advocacy role, we find that securities lawyers' involvement in SEC comment letters is associated with resisting disclosure inquiries through redacting information from filings and issuing fewer amendments to previous disclosures. Our evidence also supports the view that the role of secur...
Published on Nov 1, 2018in Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management 3.09
Li Wan (University of Udine), Guido Orzes10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
+ 2 AuthorsGuido Nassimbeni22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Udine)
Abstract The Entry Mode (EM) choice is a fundamental issue in reshoring initiatives. Despite several authors have studied the determinants of offshoring EM, no study has investigated so far the factors affecting the reshoring EM and its relation with the offshoring EM. The purpose of this paper is to examine which factors influence entry mode choice in reshoring initiatives. We develop a conceptual framework that explains the reshoring EM in terms of country-, industry-, firm- and project-specif...