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Make, Buy or Ally? Theoretical Perspectives on Knowledge Process Outsourcing through Alliances

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  • Susan M. Mudambi
  • Stephen Tallman
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    Abstract

    Outsourcing knowledge and innovation activities offer cost savings and superior performance, but can also put a firm's unique resources and capabilities at risk. Characterizations of outsourcing as a make-or-buy decision do not fit well with decisions on knowledge process outsourcing (KPO). KPO is a make-or-ally decision, as firms seek a governance structure that will both protect and leverage their strategic knowledge assets, with the final decision often coming down to a choice between different alliance forms. Our new conceptualization provides an integrated perspective on resource integration and transaction specificity in the knowledge governance decision. The model illustrates the dynamics and learning involved in knowledge outsourcing by identifying two distinct paths to KPO alliances. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
    Issue (Month): s2 (December)
    Pages: 1434-1456

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:s2:p:1434-1456

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    Cited by:
    1. Mukherjee, Debmalya & Gaur, Ajai S. & Datta, Avimanyu, 2013. "Creating value through offshore outsourcing: An integrative framework," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 377-389.
    2. Mazzola, Erica & Perrone, Giovanni, 2013. "A strategic needs perspective on operations outsourcing and other inter-firm relationships," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 256-267.
    3. Jensen, Peter D. ├śrberg & Larsen, Marcus M. & Pedersen, Torben, 2013. "The organizational design of offshoring: Taking stock and moving forward," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 315-323.
    4. Martinez-Noya, Andrea & Garcia-Canal, Esteban & Guillen, Mauro F., 2012. "International R&D service outsourcing by technology-intensive firms: Whether and where?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 18-37.
    5. Luo, Yadong & Wang, Stephanie Lu & Jayaraman, Vaidyanathan & Zheng, Qinqin, 2013. "Governing business process offshoring: Properties, processes, and preferred modes," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 407-419.
    6. Pierre Mathieu & Dominique Geoffroy-Terryn, 2012. "L'Expertise Du Gestionnaire Des Ressources Humaines A L'Interface De Multiples Influences," Post-Print halshs-00769067, HAL.
    7. Jensen, Peter D. ├śrberg, 2012. "A passage to India: A dual case study of activities, processes and resources in offshore outsourcing of advanced services," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 311-326.

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