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Living with offshoring: The impact of offshoring on the evolution of organizational configurations

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  • Lampel, Joseph
  • Bhalla, Ajay
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    Abstract

    Offshoring allows firms to pursue greater flexibility at lower costs, but it also presents major structural and managerial challenges. Adopting the activity configuration perspective, we argue that offshoring creates tensions between benefits to the competitive position of the firm, and potential disruption to the cohesion and consistency of the organization's internal activity configuration. We further argue that both benefits and risks increase as organizations move from offshoring low to offshoring high value-creating activities, and as they seek tight as opposed to loose couplings among offshored and onshored value-creating activities. Our research site is the UK operations of Tiscali, a European telecommunications firm. We examine how Tiscali uses offshoring as it grows and expands its service offerings from single, to double, and then triple play, and also analyze how Tiscali addresses the ensuing disruption to its activity configuration. We conclude with implications of our study to future research on offshoring.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 346-358

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:46:y:2011:i:3:p:346-358

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    Related research

    Keywords: IT Outsourcing Offshoring Organization configurations Activity interdependence Strategic decision making;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Lampel, Joseph & Bhalla, Ajay, 2008. "Embracing realism and recognizing choice in IT offshoring initiatives," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 429-440.
    2. Diana Farrell, 2005. "Offshoring: Value Creation through Economic Change," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 675-683, 05.
    3. Mendez, Ariel, 2003. "The coordination of globalized R&D activities through project teams organization: an exploratory empirical study," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 96-109, May.
    4. Kuldeep Kumar & Paul C van Fenema & Mary Ann von Glinow, 2009. "Offshoring and the global distribution of work: Implications for task interdependence theory and practice," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 642-667, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Burgelman, Robert A., 2002. "Strategy as Vector and the Inertia of Co-evolutionary Lock-in," Research Papers 1745, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    7. Jonathan P Doh & Kraiwinee Bunyaratavej & Eugene D Hahn, 2009. "Separable but not equal: The location determinants of discrete services offshoring activities," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(6), pages 926-943, August.
    8. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
    9. Hätönen, Jussi, 2009. "Making the locational choice: A case approach to the development of a theory of offshore outsourcing and internationalization," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 61-76, March.
    10. Kedia, Ben L. & Mukherjee, Debmalya, 2009. "Understanding offshoring: A research framework based on disintegration, location and externalization advantages," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 250-261, July.
    11. Trautmann, Gerhard & Bals, Lydia & Hartmann, Evi, 2009. "Global sourcing in integrated network structures: The case of hybrid purchasing organizations," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 194-208, June.
    12. Martin Kenney & Silvia Massini & Thomas P Murtha, 2009. "INTRODUCTIONOffshoring administrative and technical work: New fields for understanding the global enterprise," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(6), pages 887-900, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Schmeisser, Bjoern, 2013. "A Systematic Review of Literature on Offshoring of Value Chain Activities," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 390-406.
    2. 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.
    3. Baier, Elisabeth & Rammer, Christian & Schuber, Torben, 2013. "The impact on innovation off-shoring on organizational adaptability," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-109, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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