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Offshore outsourcing of services: An evolutionary perspective

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  • Tate, Wendy L.
  • Ellram, Lisa M.
  • Bals, Lydia
  • Hartmann, Evi
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    Abstract

    Offshore outsourcing is gaining increasing importance and attention in both theory and practice. The purpose of this research is to use nine in-depth case studies to analyze the evolution of offshore services outsourcing with regard to how expectations and governance structures change over time. Five testable propositions are presented, building on institutional theory, transaction cost, and resource-based perspectives. The cases demonstrate that offshore outsourcing is initiated because of increasing internal and external pressure to conform and reduce costs. Moreover, companies "chase" efficiency improvements in other geographic locations. But after reducing costs, companies discover more strategic benefits such as the potential to increase quality and market share. Importantly, as buyer-supplier relationships move from tactical to more strategic, expectations and governance structures change.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 120 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 512-524

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:120:y:2009:i:2:p:512-524

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpe

    Related research

    Keywords: Offshoring Offshore outsourcing Institutional theory Resource-based view Transaction cost economics;

    References

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    1. Bunyaratavej, Kraiwinee & Hahn, Eugene D. & Doh, Jonathan P., 2007. "International offshoring of services: A parity study," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 7-21, March.
    2. Masaaki Kotabe & Janet Y Murray, 1990. "Linking Product and Process Innovations and Modes of International Sourcing in Global Competition: A Case of Foreign Multinational Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 21(3), pages 383-408, September.
    3. Jonathan P. Doh, 2005. "Offshore Outsourcing: Implications for International Business and Strategic Management Theory and Practice," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 695-704, 05.
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Phillip Swagel, 2006. "The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing," NBER Working Papers 12398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Janet Y Murray & Masaaki Kotabe & Albert R Wildt, 1995. "Strategic and Financial Performance Implications of Global Sourcing Strategy: A Contingency Analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(1), pages 181-202, March.
    6. Susan Christopherson, 2007. "Barriers to 'US style' lean retailing: the case of Wal-Mart's failure in Germany," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 451-469, July.
    7. Kshetri, Nir, 2007. "Institutional factors affecting offshore business process and information technology outsourcing," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 38-56, March.
    8. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
    9. Dossani, Rafiq & Kenney, Martin, 2007. "The Next Wave of Globalization: Relocating Service Provision to India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 772-791, May.
    10. Lyons, Bruce R., 1995. "Specific investment, economies of scale, and the make-or-buy decision: A test of transaction cost theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 431-443, May.
    11. Keith D. Brouthers & Lance Eliot Brouthers, 2003. "Why Service and Manufacturing Entry Mode Choices Differ: The Influence of Transaction Cost Factors, Risk and Trust," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 1179-1204, 07.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Lo, Chris K.Y. & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Edwin Cheng, T.C., 2011. "Meta-standards, financial performance and senior executive compensation in China: An institutional perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 119-126, January.
    2. Wagner, Stephan M. & Sutter, Reto, 2012. "A qualitative investigation of innovation between third-‐party logistics providers and customers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 944-958.
    3. Schoenherr, Tobias, 2012. "The role of environmental management in sustainable business development: A multi-country investigation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 116-128.
    4. Zorzini, Marta & Stevenson, Mark & Hendry, Linda C., 2014. "Coordinating offshored operations in emerging economies: A contingency-based study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 323-339.
    5. 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.
    6. Bustinza, O.F. & Arias-Aranda, D. & Gutierrez-Gutierrez, L., 2010. "Outsourcing, competitive capabilities and performance: an empirical study in service firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 276-288, August.
    7. Klassen, Robert D. & Vereecke, Ann, 2012. "Social issues in supply chains: Capabilities link responsibility, risk (opportunity), and performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 103-115.

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